Fernbrook Elementary School fifth grade students created everything from homemade soap to greeting cards to jewelry which they sold at a special marketplace through the new “TREP$ Club.”
“TREP$” is short for entrepreneurs. The program was a success as excited fifth graders created entrepreneurial concepts, presented them to teachers, community members and volunteers and finally created their products which they sold on Nov. 29 at the TREP$ Marketplace at the Fernbrook gymnasium.
“When I heard about TREP$, I knew this was a program that had to be brought to Fernbrook School,” said Fernbrook Vice Principal Kristin Mueller. “Empowering students to create their own businesses while instilling life skills will have lasting effects and is so valuable to students.
“The excitement during each workshop was contagious as students began to come up with creative ideas and work towards a goal,” she said. “The program teaches, excites, motivates and empowers all at the same time.”
It was a true learning experience for the students. Fernbrook fifth graders Alyssa Gaudioso and Alezia McCoy decided to create their own line of colorful handmade soaps which they called “Smelly Jellies.” However, when the girls created their soaps, some of them did not hold together and fell apart. So the girls said they had to change their recipe which made all the difference.
Fifth grader Jasmine Bravo created her own line of jewelry which was “a lot of work, but it was worth it,” she smiled, noting she sold three pairs of earrings in the first few minutes that the marketplace was open.
Lily Wohnsigl combined her love of baking and her love of dogs by creating “Lily’s Biscuits: Sweet Treats for Dogs.”
Lily Uribe and Kaviya Saravanan created colorful greeting cards for every occasion including a marriage proposal, which would benefit shy people who might be afraid to ask the big question, but could buy their card instead.
Alexander Lanese created sock snowmen, which sold for $3, and were quite popular at the event. His proud family helped him collect money and bag his snowmen at the marketplace.
Fernbrook Principal Danielle Soldivierri said she was getting most of her holiday shopping done at the event, which featured so many innovative items.
About 47 fifth grade students met after school once a week to participate in the TREP$ special workshop in the school’s computer lab.
“Preparing our students for success in the real world is the most important task facing educators,” noted Mueller. “When I learned about the TREP$ program I knew this was something we needed to offer our students. TREP$ exposes students to 21st century skills, helping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset at an early age. By providing practical experience in problem solving, innovation, and collaboration, we are fostering skills in the leaders of tomorrow.”