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April 30, 2014

Open for business at Carlson

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Carlson first-graders AnnaSophia Vargas, Chardarielle Akins and Amoni Hafeed sell items during Small Business Day April 17. They sold items they made, as well as merchandise donated from all three first-grade classes.

WARREN — Could the next Donald Trump be among the Carlson Elementary first-graders who made and sold their own products during the school’s third annual Small Business Day?

On April 17, students in each of the school’s three first-grade classes participated in the event in which they sold homemade products for 25 cents each. Several students sold goods, while others worked the cash register. The event ran smoothly with help from several parent volunteers. Carlson is part of Van Dyke Public Schools

Earlier in the school year, the young students studied a unit that offered lessons in production, consumerism, money and trade. Under the guidance of first-grade teachers Monika Davies, Dana Haigh and Natasha Smith, students also learned the difference between a good and a service.

First-grader Damien Morgan said a good is a food or something you can see and touch.

“A service is what somebody gives you,” Morgan said, such as visiting the dentist, getting a haircut or hiring someone to clean your house.

The Small Business Day was designed to reinforce what the students learned in class and further explore economics.

“This is sort of a review to put our concepts into practice,” Davies said. “The earlier they’re introduced to how the economy works, it makes more sense to them when they learn to count money.”

It’s important to market a product that will sell to consumers, too.

“You’re not going to make something no one wants to buy,” Davies said. 

Items for sale included colored rocks, bookmarks, rubberband bracelets, books, chocolate and rings. There was even a selection of baked goods. The majority of the products were made at home. Small Business Day proved popular with the students.

“They felt very important,” Davies said. “They were very on-task and very focused. They had a great time.”

Some students took the event so seriously, they dressed in business attire.

“I like the Small Business Day,” first-grader AnnaSophia Vargas said. “There was a lot of pretty stuff, especially the bookmarks with a crayon. You iron it and then it melts.”

Money raised from the event will be used for a first-grade field trip to the Detroit Zoo in June.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1045.