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Student Project Teaches Life Lessons (January, 2006)

xSmith Elementary School Kindergarten/First Grade Looping students recently began a business as part of their learning unit on "needs and wants."

As the students discussed that some children and families are less fortunate than others or may experience more difficulties in meeting their needs, the students decided that they wanted to help some kids their own age that may have an illness or disability.
They brainstormed what they could do to raise money and they researched charities that help others. xWith help from their teachers, they came up with the idea to form a business and to develop a product to sell. They decided on a company name of "Winter Wishes," which makes a product called "Snowman Kisses," a little snowman with chocolate kisses inside. Proceeds would help meet their goal of giving money to the Make a Wish Foundation.

The first step was to get a loan from the bank to start their business. Margie Harrison with North Dallas Bank and Trust, the school's business partner, came and talked to the students about applying for a loan. The students dressed professionally to impress their loan officer!

xStudents then applied for jobs within the company - there were purchasers, advertising and marketing specialists and printers, cashiers, etc. Students even made a commercial to broadcast at school.

The teachers said it was interesting to see how students gravitated toward the jobs that fit their personalities. The teachers have also been very impressed with how hard the students have worked and how seriously they have taken their jobs.
Students will start selling their products this week.