Program aims to develop educated young consumers

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    STANHOPE-Third-graders at the Stanhope Valley Road School showed their problem-solving skills to their parents Tuesday, Nov.9 as part of a new program designed to teach math and critical thinking with a hands-on approach. With sponsorship from Ronetco Supermarkets, Inc., the owners and operators of ShopRite Supermarkets, The Young Consumer Program has been implemented in local schools for the past two years. The program was created in response to the performance by students on state assessment tests. "The kids have a blast showing their parents how to solve problems, and the earlier we get them started with thinking and math skills, the better they are," said Cathie Filomeno, consumer affairs coordinator for Ronetco Supermarkets. In the last two years, the program has seen a drastic jump in participation, growing from two schools and 124 students to 12 schools and well over 1,000 students according Filomeno. Creators Howard Herbert, a former superintendent of schools with an extensive background in education and Steve Magna, a technology teacher at Vernon High School, decided to try a way of presenting math and life skills visually rather than the traditional paper and pencil technique. Herbert believes this approach would not only increase test scores, but would make children more enthusiastic about learning such concepts as fractions and geometry. He says they are now starting to see solid results and improved test scores with schools that are taking part in the program. In March, the children are going to one of Ronetco's supermarkets to put to practice what they have learned. Aside from solving practical math problems, the students will be required to shop for groceries for a family of four for four days without going over their $100 budgets. Herbert is excited about the positive results from The Young Consumer Program. "To have the support of Ronetco and see your concept come to life and be successful is a dream come true