Students at Maple Leaf School have had the chance to get an additional education thanks to an Innovation Grant from Western School Division Board of Trustees.  

In January, the project was awarded $2500 to try something new for students. 

Maple Leaf PAC Member Grace Keeling gives an update on the preparations for Monday's Children's Business Market, open to the public.  

"We had selected 20 students out of about 125 applications for the Children's Business Market and we have been working with Community Futures to teach them a little bit about business, how to make money, how to save money, and how to share it. So, they're learning business lingo too, and then learning customer service, what advertising is, and philanthropy." 

Many Hands Mariyam Tsygankova presenting to studentsMany Hands Mariyam Tsygankova presenting to students

Students will have one hour on Monday to sell their product to the public at Maple Leaf Elementary School's gym and an awards ceremony will be held. The young entrepreneurs will receive cash prizes and a portion of their money may be donated towards either Many Hands Resource Centre or the BTHC Foundation with a matching grant from the Morden Area Foundation for up to $1100. 

Grade four student Eva Taloshna will be selling Perler Bead Keychains, she made. She explains what she learned through these workshops.  

"If you run a business, you have to have plans, have enough money to make change. If somebody gives you $5.00 but the product costs $3, you need $2.00. And if you don't have that, the person just might not want to buy it." 

Students working on their products.Students working on their products.

She shared her business plan.  

"My goal is to make about 100 of them. My plans are to try to add extra colors to them, make them extra big, and add less money so people would buy them."  

Keeling described some of the skills the students were taught this spring. 

"Teamwork skills, independence for those business members who are just a one-man-show, basically learning hard work. They're learning to not only start something but finish it. They're also learning to try. The whole thing came from the Innovation Grant. So, that means to take risks. And in the workshops, we're seeing lots of kids are raising their hands, and they're not shy to ask, and but being bold, being different. "  

Students working on their products.Students working on their products.

Grade four students, Blake Penner and her partner Chaslyn Dejagher are working together, Penner explained their project. 

 "Chaslyn came up with the idea to make suncatchers, because last year, her sister made suncatchers too. So, she thought it was going to be a good idea to do it too." 

Dejagher is excited to sell them to raise money for a trip to Ontario. She explained what she had learned. 

"About money, and saving, and how we're going to sell our product, and how we're going to present when we're selling our product." 

Keeling teaching kids about the choice to share.Keeling teaching kids about the choice to share.

Keeling is impressed with what kids are able to comprehend about what is typically an adult concept. 

"Kids are picking up way faster than we thought. It's really cool how we would be able to speak about adult terminology, but they would just pick it up really fast and run with it and they're enthusiastic. They're acting, they're role-playing, they're shaking hands with each other, is really goofy. The really cool thing you notice is that we're catching the market for kids who are not athletic, they're not artsy. This is kind of their own little niche, and everybody loves money."  

Everyone is invited to support these young entrepreneurs, meet them, ask them questions, watch the awards portion of the evening and make donations to the non-profit organizations. 

BTHC rep presenting to the students.Penny Schoonbaert from Community Futures