It’s the sweetest supermarket you will ever visit, full of tasty treats, thoughtful gifts, bargains and big grins. But you have to be quick. It’s only open one time every school year.


Because hosting the annual Second Grade Supermarket is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our BCACS students.

“They look forward to it all year,” second-grade teacher Amy Doyle said.

Marcia McGrath started the Second Grade Supermarket at St. Philip Elementary School in 1996 and it’s been running ever since.

It fits a cross-section of the second-grade curriculum that includes their Social Studies unit on consumers and producers, their Math unit on counting money, and, of course, Theology.

“We donate all proceeds to an organization in need each year,” Mrs. Doyle said. “This year it is the St. Vincent Food Pantry.”

If you’ve had a second-grade student, you know the preparation is part of the fun.

Students bring 2-3 dozen baked goods as well as homemade, non-edible items. Often, parents help the children assemble their “wares” for market day. Together, they set the prices and create posters attracting customers.

In addition to a variety of delicious treats, this year’s second-graders sold stress pillows, inspirational rocks, homemade playdough, bracelets, magnets, small toys, and creative hair ties.

“The most unique item may have been the recycled products, including a sun catcher made from gallon milk jugs and a piggy bank made from plastic water bottles,” Mrs. Doyle said.

Students, teachers, and volunteers set up the market in the elementary school library, which is open during the school day for family, friends, staff, and students.

Every elementary and middle school class has a chance to shop. Our second grade-entrepreneurs handle everything from explaining products to counting change.

“They love it,” Mrs. Doyle said. “[The second-graders] become little salespeople and they are super supportive of each other.”

Moreover, the students are excited to help a worthy cause with their own time, treasure and talent. Here is just a sample of what this year’s participants thought of their Second Grade Supermarket experience:

“I really liked selling things to other people and earning money for St. Vincent Food Pantry.”

“I liked when the parents came in and bought stuff and donated money to us.”

“I liked making the crafts with my family.”

“I liked earning money and giving it to St. Vincent so we can help people with whatever they need.”

Seeing their excitement and watching their hard work, makes it a win for their teachers and parents, as well as our greater community.

And that’s a bargain any way you look at it.

Collecting these sweet photos reminded me of the time I spent creating “supermarket” items with my kiddos. Priceless memories – yet another bargain.

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Questions? Call Cathy Erskine at 269.963.1131