The young entrepreneurs of John Schnare’s Grade 4/5 class held a mock marketplace for their new bracelet companies at Rosemont Elementary last week, then hawked their wares to enthusiastic younger students as well as families and friends.
“Our bracelets are made from a plasticky kind of string like you find on little girl’s tricycles,” Tanner Jackson told the Star Thursday, describing why be believes his company Wrist Wraps’ product is superior to the handful of other burgeoning bracelet companies in attendance. “We have the best ones here.”
He was joined by friends Aiden Varney and Logan Wright, who acted as their soccer ball-shaped mascot. Nearby Lilly Linnen was acting as the spokesperson for a line of bracelets called Live Laugh Play.
“We have handmade them, some of them are loomed, and we have better colours than everybody else,” she said.
Linnen said it makes her proud to show off her work to younger students, and she hopes it inspires them: “All the small kids can see from that we made this in our own time at school.”
Schnare told the Star the experience was invaluable for students.
“It’s basically to introduce students to the idea of entrepreneurship and business, and I’m using it as a math exercise as well — they have to find out what their target market is, calculate how many people they might be able to sell to, they have to file revenue and expense statements at the end.”
That’s only the beginning.
“They also have to develop their own materials, come up with their prices. We’re trying to get as much of a real-world emphasis into the classroom as we possibly can, which leads to a higher level of students engagement.”
The opportunity was made possible by the Columbia Basin Trust, which funded Amy Robillard to deliver the Junior Achievement Program.
Schnare was effusive about his colleague and encouraged any teachers in the district interested in doing something similar to team up with her.
There is still time for schools in the district to participate in the program. Robillard would like interested educators to contact her at email@example.com or call her at 250-777-2011.
Schnare said the Junior Achievement Program is great example of the “transformational learning” championed by Superintendent Jeff Jones. He said project-based learning is often a much more effective method of teaching than giving students “a page of math in a work book.”
“There’s a place for that too, but these students have been extraordinarily engaged and very committed to the project. They have a real commitment to what they’re doing.”
Jonathan Mozel and Elijah Marsden interacted with customers during the bracelet exposition.
Junior Achievement instructor Amy Robillard (top right) helped Jason Hebert keep track of his earnings.
Live Laugh Play bracelet company founders (L-R) Sadye Moore, Niya Latkin, Lily Linnen, Elijah Marsden and Liam Lewsaw showed off their products (above).