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Market Day showcases third graders business skills
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Ecopreneurialism. Marketing. Applied mathematics. Management.

Sound like college coursework? Try third grade curriculum at Kilough Elementary School.

And these are just a few examples of the areas of study incorporated behind the scenes as teachers and students and carried out the Kilough third grades annual Market Day.

Market Day was held the week before winter break, offering shoppers school wide a chance to do some affordable Christmas shopping. Most of the merchandise, which included hand-crafted art, Christmas decorations and fresh baked goods, cost between a dime and 50 cents.

The bottom line: Market Day generated more than $1,100.

The proceeds were donated to Dawson Countys KARE for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides necessities for children in need year-round and fills needs and wishes for hundreds of kids at Christmas.

Third grade teacher Tim Spooner says he always tries to incorporate into his classroom lessons the study of environmental sciences and the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle. Student-made, recycled art was a natural product for his class to make and sell. Asked to bring in recycled articles from home, Spooners students brought everything from scratched up sunglasses and broken headbands to busted bicycles and crashed computers.

Recycled items were used as they were or disassembled for parts.

Students also created a number of one-of-a-kind pieces, from abstract wall art to diode earrings to a puppet show stage to a bicycle seat-turned triceratops head sculpture. The triceratops head and several other above-and-beyond art pieces items were sold at auction on Market Day.

Look at these, said Spooner, a week before the event, showing a visitor boxes overflowing with hand-crafted recycled art items for Market Day. See how imaginative and creative the kids are?

Beyond the artistic expression, the process exposed the students to engineering and manufacturing concepts.

By taking items apart, they learned something about how they are made.

Next door in Teresa Conowals classroom, the class decided to capitalize on existing product development skills. Conowal often uses baking activities often to teach science principles, measuring and other math skills, so baked goods and other treats were a natural to make and serve up at Market Day.

To help Conowals Bake Shop step it up a notch, Jennifer Mineo of Events by Dezine in Dawsonville volunteered to work with the students to plan every aspect of their new class business. Setting sales goals, determining services, merchandising, staffing and problem-solving were all covered in Mineos small business consulting visits to the classroom.

Cindy Fuhrmanns third grade class rounded out the Market Day offerings by making Christmas ornaments and other seasonal items.

Market Day at Kilough Elementary School was a tremendous success, teachers say

Students, teachers and staff filled the classrooms in the third grade pod all day on Dec. 13.

Some parents also volunteered, but Conowall said most of them stood back and watched.

The kids were so prepared, and they worked together so well, said Conowal, there wasnt really anything for the adults to do.

At one point some of the kids realized a 50-cent baked item wasnt selling very well. They observedcorrectlythat it was priced beyond what the market would bear. They reduced the price of the item to a quarter and sold out.

At the end of the day, the teachers agreed most adults dont give third graders enough credit for the depth of their abilities and what they can manage and accomplish on their own with proper planning, guidance and only minimal supervision.