The Learning Center prides itself on their long standing Middle REAL program offered to 5th through 8th graders. Middle REAL stands for the Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning. Additionally, TLC also has a Mini REAL program that serves kindergarten through 4th graders. Both the Middle REAL and Mini REAL programs are a component of the North Carolina REAL program that is dedicated to helping bring entrepreneurship and small business creation to our state.
The Mini and Middle REAL programs work together to hold two annual Mini Malls, an event that has students writing business plans, conducting marketing surveys, and devising effective advertising in order to create a successful marketplace.
Mini Mall is a hugely popular event on campus but Middle REAL and Mini REAL achieve far more than just that at TLC! These programs also educate in the following ways:
· Community Problem Solving – Students focus on the basic rules of safety at home, in the community and on the internet. Students create dramatizations of problematic situations then model effective solutions. Students compete for “best” solutions much like real-life contractors.
· Community Environmental Design – Students are involved in the design and construction of a miniature “green” community and the design and creation of a Japanese garden.
· The Global Community – Students learn Internet safety as they develop an awareness of the world that is accessible with the click of a mouse. Student research will support other Middle REAL classes and Friday activities.
· Community Wellness –With a focus on overall health of humans and the good earth, students experiment with good-tasting, nutritious, “kid-friendly” snack recipes. These recipes are then be distributed to grades K-4 for classroom use.