XENIA — Students in the ag science class at Legacy Christian Academy took their annual project to a whole new level.
Tasked each year with developing and running a small business, including writing a proposal and presenting it to the school administration in order to obtain a loan, all while tying it in to agriculture some way, the class of six decided to make and sell lollipops.
In the past, classes made non-edibles like candles and soaps. That wasn’t good enough for this group.
“One class we were thinking about what we would choose,” said junior Ashley Bush. “We wanted something that appeals to everybody, even elementary.”
Then one day they noticed some kids walking down the hall with Dum Dums.
“We were like, ‘What’s better than lollipops?’ ” Bush said. “I love them. They’re so good.”
So not only did the class have to convince the Legacy administrators it was a profitable idea, the students also had to satisfy Greene County Public Health and meet some guidelines regarding the school lunch program. And they had to repay the loan and donate all proceeds to a charity or non-profit.
“They really did like an extra mile with wanting to do this particular project,” teacher Amy Pickens said.
After initially being denied a loan from the administration, the class worked out the kinks and not only payed back the $180 school debt within weeks, the students made a $500 donation to One Bistro, the non-profit they chose, and expect to be able to present at least one more check.
“(One Bistro) supports people on the streets,” said junior Rachel Gay. “I believe in that a lot. I want to be able to help people who can’t help themselves.”
Bush said no class had done so well before. And it almost didn’t happen because the administration wasn’t convinced and the class wasn’t fully prepared to answer all the questions, according to Bush.
“Most of us were pretty frustrated because we had spent a lot of time,” she said. “At the same time, we understood because of COVID and everything, there were going to be extra things. The school had ever done anything food related. We knew this could happen.”
So did Pickens, but she never wavered in her support.
“I knew what they were getting into,” she said. “They felt this is what they wanted to do.”
In addition to learning how to run a business, Gay said she and her classmates are bonding.
“I think it’s been going pretty well,” she said. “It’s pretty fun getting to know the class. We’ve gotten closer over this time.”
Because it’s a smaller class, making the business work was easier, Gay said, because each student has a specific task.
“I control Instagram,” she said as an example. “(But) when people are absent it gets a little hard.”
Flavors include strawberry, cotton candy, orange cream, watermelon, and green apple. Most are made to order and all include ingredients and nutritional information.
They cost just 50 cents each. That means the class sold more than 1,300 lollipops.
“Their generosity was a wonderful surprise,” said One Bistro board treasurer Diane Dixon. “We will be good stewards of the gift We are so grateful and thankful. So wonderful to see young people, our future leaders, paying it forward.”
Others in the class include juniors Noah Smith, Gavin Brown, and Michael Wallen, and sophomore Mya Jones.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.