SPRING HILL — Westside Elementary School students scurried around the Winn-Dixie with their parents on a recent Monday night solving math problems. They were on a shopping trip to hone their math skills in a real-world way.
"It's about trying to inspire our kids and helping them to be successful and part of the community," said Nicole Barrow, store director at the Winn-Dixie at 2240 Commercial Way. "The parents get to see how, during grocery shopping, the students can do simple math."
The school provided activity sheets for each grade level. All students in grades 2-5 were asked to do estimations. Other problems were geared to specific grades, kindergarten through fifth.
An example of a first-grade problem: "Johnny wants to take apples to school as a snack for his 17 classmates. He has eight apples at home. How many more will he need to buy?"
Second-graders were asked: "We bought seven oranges, six peaches, three bananas, two puddings and four candy bars at Winn-Dixie. How many pieces of fruit did we buy?"
Westside assistant principal Joyce Lewis greeted parents and children as they arrived to shop and solve.
"It brings our families together," Lewis said.
Sherry Fangio and her daughter, fourth-grader Gianna Fangio, 9, have been attending the event for the three years the school and store have held it.
"This is good for me," Gianna said, "because I'm learning about decimals and I know about estimation and I try to remember it."
Gianna's mother shared her daughter's enthusiasm.
"She is learning some valuable skills. She did quite well at the register. She was pretty close to the actual amount," she said, referring to Gianna's grocery total estimation.
John Krahling was shopping with his daughter, second-grader Rebecca Krahling, 8, and talked about the value of the parent-student activities Westside provides.
"It gets the kids involved in different things," Krahling said. "We've done a lot of different things with Westside. It's good for kids to do things like this. It helps them out with their later life."