A little help from some smaller workers at annual ‘Village People’ event

Prairie students Maisie, Evan and Aaron made the glass shelves of a display case shine as part of their participation in "Village People" Thursday.
Prairie students Maisie, Evan and Aaron made the glass shelves of a display case shine as part of their participation in “Village People” Thursday.

Village Shops patrons may have noticed that the average age of the staff at the center’s businesses appeared to have plummeted Thursday.

Alas, it wasn’t some coordinated attempt to thwart child labor laws. Instead, it was a much-loved tradition for Prairie Elementary sixth graders: “Village People.”

Each year, the school’s eldest class spends part of the day pitching in at Village Shops stores and restaurants. On Thursday, the sixth graders could be found cleaning shelves at Bruce Smith Drugs, arranging displays at Spangler’s, making stationery at R.S.V.P., and even helping make donuts at Tavern in the Village, among other duties.

“Getting help doing the chores is the best part of it,” said Larry Kinsey, who has worked at Bruce Smith Drugs the past 16 years.