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International program showcased in Tulsa for annual convention

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 19:49:53-04

Educators from South America, Africa, the U.S., and Canada are in Tulsa this week for the 27th annual micro-society convention.

"It's about kids finding out who they are and where they fit into the world and how to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers for the challenges they're going to face in the future." says program co-founder and CEO Carolynn King Richmond.

King- Richmond's husband founded the micro-society program more than 20 years ago to try to motivate kids to learn.
It sets up a small economy in the classroom.. Where students apply for jobs, work at businesses and even learn from local mentors.

"I think in those early years, I think micro-society at least from his point of view was so that kids would not be poor," says King-Richardson.

As of 2019, the program has evolved into much more, encouraging students to develop better social skills, confidence and job training.

"It's helped me come out of my shell," says Sara Martin, a 9th grader.

This workshop helps train teachers on how to operate the program at their schools.
The program is already currently thriving at both Thoreau and Monroe demonstration academies here in Tulsa.

"I'm a salesman for stocks and bonds. I found my knack and what I'm good for. Do you know? I love to sell things to people, make them want to buy it. " says Jeff Carthel, a 7th grader.

Audrey Doctor is the principal at Thoreau Demonstration Academy and says all of a sudden her students went from not caring about their core curriculum to wanting to learn.

"When they're writing resumes, all of a sudden they care about spelling because that is important for them obtaining the job that they want at the cotton candy place. So, immediately the information that they've been taught in their core classes becomes relevant because they're using it in society," says Doctor.

In an ever-changing complex world, these small societies serve as a safe place where kids can figure out what they like, what they're good at, and how to do it.

"Just getting prepared for the real world and you know just making a resume and mostly everything you're doing just gets you prepared for what you want to do when you grow up," says Carthel.

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