About 75 fifth-graders at Chester M. Stephens Elementary School recently learned the rigors and successes of entrepreneurship by creating and selling their own unique hand-made crafts, toys, and foods. The students participated in TREP$, a two-month-long program that allowed the students to experience the complete product development process, from concept to completion.
The program’s finale was an evening marketplace held in the CMS gym where each young entrepreneur had his or her own table that displayed the custom products. Hundreds of parents, community members, friends, and faculty members packed the event and bought the items. There were decorative photo frames, dog tags, sculpted charms, candy and baked goods, emoji pillows, and dog treats to name just a few products.
At the marketplace, students gained the experience of interacting with real customers and learned the value of hard work by earning real money. And as the sales started to add up, students beamed with the satisfaction and sense of achievement that can only come from seeing an idea become a successful reality.
TREP$, which stands for entrepreneurs, teaches students very concrete business fundamentals through a series of hands-on challenges. The students met weekly to learn a different business skill.
Jen Curry, CMS’ instructional supervisor, coordinated the program which was taught by the school’s fifth-grade teachers for the second year at CMS.
Pamela de Waal, TREP$ co-creator, attended the sale to personally congratulate the students and staff members involved.