XENIA — After completing a unit about entrepreneurship, Xenia fourth grader Ali Haley learned a big lesson.
“Producing goods and making a shop is much harder than it looks,” the Tecumseh Elementary School student said.
Hard work, but it was worth it for Haley and the rest of students in the Xenia Talented Academic Resource (XTAR) program, who culminated a year’s worth of learning about the business world with Tuesday’s XTAR Project Showcase.
The showcase enabled the 40-plus kids from throughout the district to show off and sell products they developed and manufactured from start to finish. The entrepreneurship and showcase used to be just a unit, but teacher Donna Shaw expanded it’s length to give the students more insight into being a business owner.
“That’s something we’ve done new this year,” Shaw said. XTAR partnered with Wright State, Anthony-Thomas Candy Company in Columbus and some other local businesses so the students could see all aspects of a business.
“We tried to focus on all things to do with it,” Shaw said.
The kids were split into 13 businesses, each charged with coming up with an item to sell. They had to develop it, obtain classroom financing, manufacture it and then pay back the loan after the sale. Some of the manufacturing, such as sewing, gluing, drilling and sawing, was contracted out to teachers and parents — for a fee.
The business owners then priced their items and sold them at the showcase for XTAR dollars. Prices ranged from $4-95 in XTAR money, with an exchange rate of $5 in U.S. currency for $25 in XTAR cash.
Haley, and partners Hayleigh Cleaver and Kyler Clevelle sold coasters and cinnamon ornaments.
“We were looking up online for creative ideas for kids (and) Ali found that,” Cleaver said. “It wasn’t very hard, but we had to put a lot of glue in it.”
Cleaver also learned a little about the financing part of a business.
“When you get a loan you have to repay it,” she said. “(And) you have to put some of your money into it.”
Among the more unique items were Mason soap jars, created by the team of Zoey Blake, Neil Chen and Dean Bogan.
“Have you ever dropped a plastic soap jar and are like ‘dang it?’ ” Blake said. The bottle could crack open, the lid could come off and rinsing it off is a mess.
But by putting the liquid soap into a Mason jar, the soap can withstand a drop a little better, she said.
“They hold a lot more,” Blake said. “It can hold two of the generic brands, and more.” They made 15 and were down to just one within a few minutes of the sale beginning.
“It was probably one of the easiest ones (to make),” Blake said.
Other items being hawked include dog beds, pipe cleaner creations, speakers, wood letters, dishwasher magnets, picture frames, wax paper paintings and spice racks.
Ten percent of the real money raised will be donated to 4 Paws for Ability. The rest will be spent on next year’s supplies and prizes for the most profitable company and for all companies which earned a profit.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.