We’re proud of the schools we serve. Each one of these schools has a unique mission, and each serves a unique group of students. These schools are led by idealists, dreamers, compassionate optimists who not only believe in a better tomorrow, they believe in rolling up their sleeves and bringing that better tomorrow to their students. It is a privilege for us here at Charter School Capital to support these schools and help them thrive.
Here is a blog post from Imagine Bell Canyon, in Phoenix, AZ.
Every day at 2:40 pm, Imagine Bell Canyon’s formal classes end and BlazerWorld begins. Students stream out of classrooms and go to their jobs in our MicroSociety.
One of the challenges of 21st century education is how to connect what students learn in the classroom to what they will encounter in “real” life. Imagine Bell Canyon sought out and implemented a proven educational model that successfully immerses students in the real world, and we have been using it to connect concepts to reality for more than 10 years! Better yet, it’s so much fun that the students can’t wait to get involved.
Every day at 2:40 pm, Imagine Bell Canyon’s formal classes end and BlazerWorld begins. Students stream out of classrooms and go to their jobs in our MicroSociety, called BlazerWorld. A MicroSociety is an educational model that gives students the opportunity to explore real-life situations and continuously learn from them. The original MicroSociety was developed by George Richmond in the late 1960s after he struggled to connect with and engage his students’ learning with real-life scenarios that would matter to them. He and his wife went on to develop a curriculum and training program for schools across the country to develop their own MicroSocieties.
BlazerWorld is Born
Imagine Bell Canyon envisioned how impactful real-world learning would be for students, so we embraced the MicroSociety curriculum, completed the 3-year training program, and worked with students to create our own MicroSociety, establishing BlazerWorld in 2009. At BlazerWorld, so named for our cheetah mascot, Blazer, students are governing and participating in a miniature society that mimics the larger society beyond school walls.
Students run this world, teachers are simply there to help. Grades K-6 students put the concepts they learn in the classroom to the test in their jobs and learn crucial interpersonal skills along the way. To quote a third-grader, “MicroSociety is the best part of my day because I get to make my own decisions and decisions for my own employees.”
Students Go To Work
The opportunities in BlazerWorld are endless. Students with a great idea for a new product have the freedom to start their own business. This gives the students an entrepreneur experience, an increasingly important skill set in the 21st century, helping them learn the fundamentals of running a business.
“MicroSociety is the best part of my day because I get to make my own decisions and decisions for my own employees.”
– Imagine Schools third-grader
Financial fluency develops, as well as knowledge of branding and marketing because every product must be developed, made, and produced by students. One of our second grade classes started a recycling venture only using items found at the school or donated from recycled materials.
Students work a variety of jobs in government and business. Participating in the BlazerWorld Market Place isn’t just about doing a job though. Our kids develop and practice the skills for getting the job; they write a resume and interview for the job they want.
Student business owners learn the right interview questions to ask to find the employees they want. Once they are employed, students receive a paycheck, pay taxes, and spend their money within the Market Place.
Leaders and Skills Emerge
Many times, the leaders that emerge in BlazerWorld are not necessarily the academic leaders in the classroom. BlazerWorld gives our students more opportunities to find and hone their strengths. A completely different, yet complementary, set of skills that will set our students up for life success, develops at BlazerWorld.
When students leave BlazerWorld, the learning doesn’t stop. Students out shopping look at products in a store and understand the many steps required to get that product on the shelf, and even think about what they might do differently. It’s incredible to see the connections our kids make and the dreams that emerge!
Imagine Bell Canyon has the flexibility and vision to find the educational programs and models, like MicroSociety, that develop our students’ skills and character and equip them to be amazing 21st-century citizens. Come join us in preparing students for their futures, we are enrolling now!
About Imagine Bell Canyon
Imagine Bell Canyon provides optimal teaching and learning in a safe and nurturing K-8 environment which prepares Blazer World citizens to be their best in a global and diverse society. Imagine Bell Canyon is a tuition-free public charter school that is recognized as one of Arizona’s top schools for academic excellence and a source of community pride. Enrolling now!