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A New “FOOD STORE” in Leadore!

Nestled in the shadows of the Lemhi and Bitterroot Mountain ranges along Idaho Highway 28, Leadore is a small community with a listed population of 105. In mid-April, the Idaho Lottery crew headed to this town just 50 miles from the Montana border with a special, spring-time, Classroom Wishlist delivery.

Ms. Jennifer Piipo is a teacher at Leadore School and teaches a combined preschool/kindergarten class of seven students. These seven are some of the most-polite children you'll ever meet! Each one greeted the Lottery team with a handshake, eye contact, and a big "WELCOME TO OUR CLASSROOM! greeting."

This interaction is a big part of what Ms. Piipo wants for her students. She believes interactive and imaginative play is integral to early learners as they work on techniques that foster successful collaboration and problem-solving skills. That’s why her Classroom Wishlist requested a play area “Food Store”. The Food Store will allow her students to work on their writing, math, and social skills, not to mention being a great opportunity to discuss the four food groups and healthy eating choices.

Ms. Piipo’s goal is to ignite that flame of imagination and encourage her learners to explore the world around them. The effect from COVID-19 and the pandemic has lessened our youth’s opportunities to interact with peers. Some may not have learned to play cooperatively while others may be shy when put in social situations.

Additionally, the use of technology as a babysitter has stilted many youthful imaginations and creative desire to explore the physical world around them.

With the Food Store, Ms. Piipo’s is confident that learning by DOING provides a wealth of opportunities! And who knows, maybe someday some of these students will grow up and become future entrepreneurs and store owners, too!