The first grade class at Christ Church Day School opened a pop-up restaurant last week to raise money and awareness for the Monarch School, a K-12 school dedicated to educating the homeless children of San Diego. The idea behind opening a restaurant came after the students visited Coronado’s Village Pizzeria as part of a writing activity. Inspired by the restaurant tour from Zach Wilson and the desire to give back, the students pleaded with their teacher, Mrs. Sneed, to open a restaurant so that they could learn more about the industry and, at the same time, raise money for those less fortunate.
To turn their desires into reality, the group of 6 and 7 year olds created a business plan and headed to Cal Private Bank to meet with Mr. Richard Rico and inquire about a loan. From there, the students divided into marketing, design, and food selection teams. They created flyers and invitations, designed a menu, and settled on the food and drinks to be offered.
Enamored with the science curriculum, the first graders opted for a space-themed restaurant—naming the restaurant “Galaxy Pasta.” The design team wove the space-theme throughout the restaurant, giving each table a planetary designation, decorating the restaurant with space paraphernalia, and putting their celestial spin on menu items such as “lunar lemonade,” “rocket fuel” (i.e. water), “solar salad,” “Pluto’s pasta,” and some amazing “asteroids” (bite size treats) for dessert.
The students applied for different positions at the restaurant and, on the day of the restaurant’s launch, they took responsibility for confirming reservations, being the host/hostess, waiting on the customers, and cooking the food (utilizing their big, and little, dippers). As with the reading, writing, and communication skills they showcased in orchestrating all facets of the restaurant-opening experience, the first graders (who came into the year with basic math and money proficiency), tabulated the bill, made change, and learned the correlation between quality of service and tipping.
Reviews of the restaurant by patrons were universally positive, with one calling it “out of this world”.
From the design to the customer service, to the food preparation and attention to detail, the restaurant was a resounding success. The kids learned about the entrepreneurship process, and the value of coming up with an idea and working hard to achieve it, all the while demonstrating the impressive advancements they made over the year in their core proficiencies, and folding their curriculum into a charitable endeavor.
When the students went to the bank to meet with Mr. Richard Rico and repay their loan, Cal Private Bank surprised the class with a $500 donation to the Monarch School. Mrs. Sneed’s first grade class is thrilled to present the Monarch School with a check for over $1,100.
Many thanks to the Mrs. Sneed (CCDS First Grade Teacher) and CCDS parents for submitting content and photos for this story.