Lakeridge Elementary School’s third-, fourth- and fifth-grade highly capable learners recently concluded a “Merchants with a Cause” fair, focusing on entrepreneurship and charitable giving. The fair was held on Feb. 22.
Each student was asked to select a local, regional or global cause they care about, and to research and identify a charitable organization that addresses their cause. As part of the process, the students each wrote a persuasive essay about the charitable organization they chose explaining why it was effective, innovative, inspiring and reputable.
Before the fair, students presented their selected causes and charities to their classes, and each class voted to select one nonprofit organization to be supported by the fair proceeds. The three charities selected to receive a portion of the fair proceeds were World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Action Network and Black Lives Matter.
Students designed a product that was tied to their cause, refined their prototype after receiving peer reviews and worked independently to make about 15 of them to sell at the fair. Students were asked to keep their total product costs below $30.
At the fairs, students pitch their products and causes through informative boards and persuasive videos made on iMovie. Parents then purchase the student-made products at the fair.
In past years, parent Erin Krawiec said the fairs raise an average of $1,500-$2,000. This year, the fair raised more than $1,700, which will go to benefit nonprofit organizations.
Fifth-grade student Lexi Krawiec used chalkboard paint to create chalkboards that raised awareness for Save The Children, which works to provide access to education for children around the world.
Third-grade student Lauren Balousek created snow globes that revealed the quote “We are stronger than cancer” when shaken for St. Jude’s.
Fifth-grade student Emily Dunn crafted hand-made erasers and fabric covered notebooks to raise awareness for the Kiran Anjali Project, which provides education and job training to children in India.
“It’s always so great to see the kids work so hard about something they’re so passionate about,” Krawiec said. “It’s such a great way for them to not only develop career-building skills, but for them to become invested in things that matter to them.”