Long Beach third graders put entrepreneurial skills to the test

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - They are learning how to run their own business and they're not even ten years old yet. Tuesday, some Long Beach third graders put their entrepreneurial skills to the test. It gave customers a unique shopping experience.

Guests were greeted at the door with pretend Discovery Money. Inside in the classroom, there was a buying and selling frenzy as young business owners tried to tempt their customers with homemade goods and services.

"We've got sugar cookies, two for one," said one girl.

"Would you like to buy a paper airplane?" asked one boy.

One team made bracelets out of colorful rubber bands.

"We just thought they were easy to make and we can make a lot of them and they're just really cool to wear," said third grader Stokley Sawyer.

While three young ladies turned their friendship into the BFF Bakery.

"We knew it was going to go well, because a lot of people like sweets," said third grader Sally Acey.

The third grade gifted students at Reeves Elementary in Long Beach had to learn how to operate a business and serve their customers. They had to develop a business plan, form partnerships, and create the signs.

"First of all, the creativity that's involved and also the competition for customers," said Discovery teacher Carol Paola. "They have to learn to work as a partnership and not to take over, and that's not always easy for kids."

They must also know what their customers want and need.

"We also sell cookies, but you can't get a cookie and a drink, because they'll get too hyped up on sugar and they'll get crazy in class," said third grader Alex Eleuterius.

The hands-on experience is aligned to Common Core Standards and the 21st Century Skills Initiative.

"The people at the college level and the business people of the world, they're looking for kids who can come out and can handle working with a partner. They can do group work, they are confident, and they've had lots of experiences. So building those entrepreneurial skills are part of that," said Paola.

The program continues Wednesday with seven more businesses putting their products up for sale.

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