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Creating a Tradition of Community Leadership

For three years, students at Petal Elementary School in Petal, Mississippi have been creating businesses to raise money for local charities that have a real significance in the students’ lives.

Teachers at Petal Elementary have been using the BizWorld.org program to teach fourth graders in their gifted program how to run a business and how a business makes money. At the culmination of the program, students sell the friendship bracelets they have designed, produced and marketed, and donate the money to charity. They have raised money for the March of Dimes, because the community poster child was a Petal student; for the American Red Cross which helped so many people in the community after a devastating tornado; and three local children’s hospitals because of the impact the hospitals have had on Petal students and their families.

“Selling the bracelets to raise money for these organizations was an excellent way to encourage our students to be charitable and make a contribution to our community,” said Mary Roberts, a teacher at Petal Elementary.

In addition to teaching the students about giving, Roberts says the students gained other valuable skills during the program. “Through BizWorld’s project- based approach we have seen our students increase their leadership and teamwork skills, engage in decision making and problem solving, learn techniques of persuasion, and gain knowledge of business and finance,” Roberts commented. “Bizworld gives our students opportunities to be leaders, provides opportunities to use math skills and develop persuasive writing and speaking skills, and enables our students to get involved in their community by raising money for charities. Best of all, our students love the BizWorld program!”

Thank you to Mary Roberts, Rhonda Emmons and Kelley Rinebold for sharing your story!

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