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Fourth-graders learn lessons in business

Krystle Wagner • May 29, 2018 at 12:00 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Students at Jeffers Elementary School put their economics lessons to use during Market Day last week.

After learning about economics and marketing, students sold their products to fellow students, parents and teachers on Friday.

Once they repay their loans and taxes and determine their profit, the students will decide if they want to donate to the Reimagine Project, which is the group selected to receive donations this year. The goal was to raise enough money, $100, for a fence picket that will surround the new play space at Mulligan’s Hollow.

To begin their project, the students heard from Bob Negen, a co-owner of Whiz Bang.

S.T.E.M. teacher Betsy Kipling and art teacher Carrie Andrews said the project is aimed at giving students a real-world experience. The two teachers said the project involved using math, engineering, economics, art, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity.

Kipling and Andrews wrote a grant for students to have three lessons with Emma Anderson from Speak by Design. The students also presented their business ideas and logos to a group of local business owners, administrators and parents.

When school resumed from spring break, the students started working on their products in art and S.T.E.M. class.

Erin VanderKlok, a marketing specialist from GHSP, talked to the fourth-graders about effective ways they can market their products, Andrews and Kipling said. The students created display cases and posters to help promote their items.

Students from the photography class at Spring Lake High School took pictures of the fourth-graders’ work so the kids could use the images in commercials to help gain customers.

After market day, the students will reflect on their project-based learning project, “How do entrepreneurs design and market a product to sell for profit?”

As part of the annual Market Day, students have the option to donate a portion of their profits to a charity. Earlier in the school year, a group of fourth-graders from Jeffers and Holmes elementary schools worked with Kipling during the designing phase of the new play space at Mulligan’s Hollow.

Fourth-grader Junior Corbitt used his passion for cars and drawing to start his business, Custom Coloring. He drew 12 posters that customers could purchase and then color on their own. Overall, Corbitt said business went well.

Fiona Biasell created DYI books, which included connect-the-dots and crossword puzzle activities. She said the idea stemmed from a book she created for her younger brother when he got bored. She sold six books within 45 minutes.

Biasell said being an entrepreneur seems “fun” because they get to sell a variety of products.

“It seems like a fun job to have,” she said.

Within 30 minutes, Tommy Galloway and Ryan Fine sold out of their product, Harry Potter wands. The boys said they had fun making the wands. The process involved putting hot glue on a skewer and painting it.

Fine offered advice to other business owners — “sell what’s trending.”

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