Ms. Moore is trying to show the children from the poor neighborhood that a better life is within their grasp, literally. At first it seems that the lesson is about the cruel reality of the injustice involved with the distribution of wealth. The children cannot fathom the amount of money spent on some of the toys at FAO Schwartz.
However, Sylvia, a ery bright child, understands that Ms. Moore is showing them what could be theirs. She doesn't want to admit that the lesson is valuable because she has her tough girl demeanor to keep up, but she does begin thinking about it. The end of the story leaves the reader with hope that Sylvia may rise above her current situation.