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Business-savvy 5th-graders

Krystle Wagner • Mar 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM

With business plans in hand, some Grand Haven Christian School students met with bankers Wednesday afternoon.

The school’s fifth-graders pitched their Market Day business plans to employees at Fifth Third Bank’s Robbins Road branch as part of the kids’ economics lesson. After explaining their businesses, each group received $20 grants to help their plans come to fruition. 

Profits from the classroom’s Market Day will be donated to Casa de Esperanza, a faith-based, non-profit organization in Honduras.

Prior to meeting with the bankers, the students looked at what products they wanted to sell and the costs involved. They also practiced how to give a firm handshake and the importance of eye contact.

Brody Medina turned to candy to create his business, which he calls the Sweet Shop. The fifth-grader said he’s selling a variety of candy because of the ability to buy the product in bulk and make a large profit.

As Nathan Clausing waited for his chance to share his business plan, he had samples to showcase the product of his business, Nate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Clausing said he wasn’t sure what business he wanted to create, so he turned to a treat that many people like to eat.

The popularity of slime is one of the reasons Hannah Heiss and Tessa Orr created their business, Slime Sisters. The girls said they learned that developing a business is hard work and it takes a lot of money to start one.

Alaina Somers turned plain Mason jars into little lights by using glue and glitter and a battery-powered candle inside. She brought in a sample of her product to help show the bankers what she planned to create with her grant.

Kirsten VanOrman also had samples from her business, Wicked-Good Whoopie Pies. VanOrman said she made the treats because her mom is from Maine, where whoopie pies are a big treat, and they were a hit when she brought them in as a birthday treat.

VanOrman said she thinks the experience of creating a business and pitching the ideas to professionals will have a lasting impact for her classmates.

“I think it’s going to help us prepare for the future if we ever need a loan,” she said.

Aiden Rotman used foreign currency to create jewelry and the top of boxes for his business, World Coin Boxes and Bracelets (Necklaces Too!). He bought the coins at an antique shop, and his sister taught him how to make the jewelry, while his dad taught him how to use CNC software to add the currency to the boxes.

“Making a business is hard work, but it’s fun,” Rotman said.

As students begin making their products for Market Day, GHCS fifth-grade teacher Bob Koning said he hopes they gain confidence and take a few lessons from the experience. 

“I want to teach them how to be good stewards of what God gave them,” he said.

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