Commerce Sense for a Good Cause

Kaylie Earls, left, and Maddyson DeWitt pitch their bookmarks and bracelets, respectively, to customer Kate McDonald

Brady Smith took one look at classmate Cole Schulz’s Minion rocks and decided he had to have not one but two of the animated yellow gibberers immortalized on stone. Sure, Brady could grab a couple rocks out of the woods and make his own, but “I don’t have any paint,” he pointed out.

And boom; Cole had created a market and a satisfied customer — as well as a profit. He was one of more than 70 Murray Lake Elementary third-graders who put their commerce sense to work during the school’s Market Day.

Lana Heinzelman tie-dyed two dozen T-shirts to sell at the third-grade market

The annual event is the culmination of teachers Diane Titche and Sue Wilterink’s economics unit. Titche said third-graders also studied Junior Achievement’s fourth-grade curriculum as part of the unit.

“They really learn what it takes to run a business and be entrepreneurs: about producers and consumers, profit and loss, and all the resources needed to make and sell things,” TItche said. “And they learn and remember a lot more by doing this than just reading about it in books.”

And it was for a good cause. Sellers earned $2,018 to be divided between Kids’ Food Basket and the Lowell Pink Arrow Project, efforts they selected to support.

Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio

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