COPPELL (CSBDFW.COM) – Learning to help others is one of the most valuable lessons in life.  Students at Valley Ranch Elementary in Coppell ISD learned that lesson firsthand, as they took their project from the classroom to the real world when they adopted families in need.

Two teachers, dozens of students and their parents went on a shopping spree for families in need.  They are adding up more than just numbers.  They are calculating caring.

“We can donate gifts for the people who can’t afford presents for their children,” said student Naman Sharma.

Math teacher Nadya Gulam is leading the project-based learning challenge called “Making the Change.”

“Change as in a difference because we are adopting needy families…and our students run a student-run bank,” explained Gulam.  “We asked families to give a list of wants and needs and then we handed it over to our students.  From there, they had to figure out the budget.”

The fourth graders were challenged to find the best prices online.  One by one, the students checked off the items on their list, while keeping an eye on their finances.

“Our total is 288.01 with tax?” said Gulam at the end of the challenge.   “Rocked it! We’re within our budget then!”

Within budget and learning the most important lesson of all – generosity.

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