Seventh grade students in Brian Markwald’s economics class participated in a service project while learning about microfinance and the power of loans to change lives. Inspired by the cardboard arcade created in California in 2012 by then-9-year-old Caine Monroy, they developed a wide variety of arcade games and invited Lower School students to play the games for 25 cents each with a chance to win prizes.
The money raised from the event was used to make a zero-interest microloan through the KIVA organization, which helps entrepreneurs in impoverished places all over the world. Students in USM’s 7th grade have participated in this project for many years, and recently crossed the $45,000 threshold of loans made collectively.
“This project makes the curriculum come alive,” said Markwald, 7th grade social studies teacher. “I love seeing their finals creations—some of the games are really clever! I believe learning should be fun, and the KIVA project shows that.”