Kimco Culture

Seeing SoDo Shopping Center through the eyes of a child

Posted by: Charlotte Manley Charlotte Manley
on May 15, 2017

On Thursday, April 27, the nationally recognized Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day, our SoDo Shopping Center in Orlando, Florida had some special visitors. We were joined by four children, ranging in age from 5 to 14 years old. They participated in planned independent and group activities, surrounding various aspects of their parents’ daily responsibilities.

Kimco’s SoDo office welcomed four children on Thursday, April 27th to celebrate Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day. From the left, Jeremiah Rivera, age 14, Matthew Rivera, age 11, and Alma Rivera age 7, are all children of Kimco associate Charlene Rivera. Wesley Sullivan, age 5, is the grandson of Kimco’s Spencer Phelps.

The day started off with a Polaroid project, entitled “SoDo — Through the Eyes of a Child.” The children were provided with a Polaroid camera and were limited to 10 photos each. They were given one task: show us what interests you. The inspiration behind this project came from the idea that children are driven by emotional connections to people, places, and things. Surviving in today’s retail environment means looking for new ways to make these connections. This exercise required the on-site Kimco team to look at our business through an alternative lens, and sparked interesting dialogue between employees in different disciplines, as the children’s observations allowed us to more clearly understand varying perspectives.

The young guests snapped Polaroids of different sites around the SoDo Shopping Center. Starting on the top left: Jeremiah, a fan of transit, chose to photograph a bus stop. Matthew was fond of the phrasing in his Polaroid, “starts amazing, stays amazing.” Wesley liked all of the colors in his photo, as well as the drawings of buildings and cars. Lastly, Alma’s love of books and interest in book exchanges inspired her shot.

Next came a “working lunch” (aka pizza party), where each child was given the opportunity to share their photos, discuss what they saw, and why they liked it. The diverse pictures highlighted different points of view among the children, each sharing a similar emphasis on human elements. A majority of the images were focused on unique things that made a lasting impression, reminiscent of author and urban theorist Jayne Jacobs and her theories about the complexities of neighborhoods and the thought provoking observations of daily life at a street level. Our team noted that everyone applied this approach to the project, regardless of age.

The group discussed observations and inspiration over a pizza lunch.

Spencer Phelps took a moment to teach grandson Wesley about his typical day at the office.

After speaking about the importance of supporting local businesses, we visited Sugar Divas, Kimco’s independently owned onsite cupcake shop, but not before taking the Kimco Kids Pledge!

“As a Kimco Kid, I ___________________

Promise to serve my neighborhood and my school;

I will show respect toward my environment;

And I will try to make the world a better place in which to live.”

Our visitors spent the rest of the afternoon working on one final project. Using Legos, they created shopping centers, a new generation of developers in the making. All in all, the day was a fun learning experience for children and adults alike!

The children set to work developing Lego shopping centers.

All participants were proud to show off their final retail masterpieces.

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