Hilltop third-graders are mini entrepreneurs

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.A Hilltop Elementary School student in Marie Rupert’s third-grade class concentrated on making a paracord bracelet to fill an order as part of an economics lesson.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Two Hilltop Elementary School third-grade students in Marie Rupert’s class made paracord bracelets for their business Paracord Kids, which was the focus of an economics lesson, on March 14.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Two Hilltop Elementary School students in Marie Rupert’s third-grade class worked together to make a paracord bracelet for their economics lesson on March 14.

By ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

Hilltop Elementary School students in Marie Rupert’s third-grade class got some real world hands-on experience as they created their own business, Paracord Kids. As part of an economics lesson, the mini entrepreneurs sold and made paracord bracelets to their fellow Hilltoppers.

The students brainstormed product ideas and decided to sell the paracord bracelets.

“I gave the kids two weeks to bring me ideas of what we could sell. They brought ideas to me on Post-it Notes. I can’t tell you how many ideas they had. It was great. We had a huge list. We wrote them all on the board and they voted on what product they wanted to sell, ultimately choosing paracord bracelets. They also came up with the name of our business, Paracord Kids,” Rupert said.

While coming up with their ideas, Rupert also said she gave them some guidelines.

“I told them to try to come up with a product that was not very time consuming to make or too costly to make. We wanted to keep the cost of the product under $10 or under $5 would be even better. With the bracelets, we were able to set our price at $4,” Rupert said.

The students also made a list and voted on an organization which would benefit from their project, with Akron Children’s Hospital coming up with the most votes.

“The students also made a list on the board of Canfield and surrounding area organizations which could use the money and to which we could donate our proceeds from the bracelets. They listed several organizations, and ultimately voted for Akron Children’s Hospital,” Rupert said.

The business is part of a cross curricular unit on literacy, social studies and economics.

“This gives our students an understanding of what a business looks like, and feels like in a tangible way to understand the curriculum. It also helps them understand supply and demand and consumers and producers. With this project, it gives them a chance to act in both the consumer role and producer role because they are both buying and making the bracelets. Those are some hard economic words to remember, and I hope this project is something they will remember forever,” Rupert said.

Rupert set time aside every day for about a week for the students to assemble the bracelets. Parents and grandparents visited the classroom to help the students.

“Our parents and grandparents have been very helpful. They have been coming in every day to show the students how to make the bracelets and to help with some finishing touches. This would not have been possible without them coming in to help,” Rupert said.

The students had 221 bracelet orders to fill from their fellow students, which totals a donation of $660 to Akron Children’s Hospital.

“Paracord Kids has been very fun. The kids love it,” Rupert said.

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