Fairview Community School student Jaden Dinh-Phan, 10, helps Ammar Alissa, 9, pick out clothes in the Sunshine Store, a Grade 4 class initiative to help children access clothes in exchange for acts of kindness. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

School store asks customers to pay in kindness

Fairview Community School class hosted a Sunshine Store this week

No shingle was hung outside Fairview Community School on Tuesday, but one class was open for business and its currency was kindness.

Kristy Cradock’s Grade 4 classroom was transformed into the Sunshine Store, a place where students and parents could shop for jeans, shirts, shoes and food in exchange for a promise to pay it forward.

Cradock said the school gets lots of help from different community groups and her students felt the need to pay it forward. All of the clothes were donated and her class took on the task of sorting, labelling and creating signage for the pop-up shop.

As soon as the recess bell rang Tuesday, kids packed into the room and crowded around tables; little hands holding up t-shirts and sweaters to gauge the fit and stuffing plastic bags with new finds.

Some children wrote how they planned to pay it forward and gave it to their teachers before visiting the store while others scribbled down acts of kindness on notes in Cradock’s classroom and stuck it to wall with ideas such as to help parents and clean their rooms.

“If people want clothes they can get it for free and you have to pay it forward for like a promise to be nice for someone or do something nice for someone,” said nine-year-old Osha Love. “I like that it’s a good way to be kind to people and helping people if they don’t have any clothes.”

Enam Pobee, 10, said his class created the store because they want parents not to stress and for kids not to stress their parents about buying them new clothes. It’s good because people can save money, he said.

Cradock told the News Bulletin she hopes her students carry forward what they learned at the Sunshine Store.

“We just want to continue on with our school motto of kindness matters and doing positive things for people other than ourselves,” she said.

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