Las Vegas fifth-graders run businesses out of their classrooms

A group of fifth-graders stood around a desk with ingredients, including detergent, food coloring and glue, spread out in front of them. They were making homemade slime.

And as they squished the gooey product in their hands, 11-year-old Dayan Torres said, “It’s really fun to play with and it’s a stress reliever.”

Dayan and 10-year-old Jocelyn Chavez are known as the slime masters in their class for their expert knowledge on the product, which they share with their classmates. It’s just one item in the product line of their student-run business, Korder’s Corner, which also specializes in scented candles. The business is named for their teacher, Casey Korder.

Parson Elementary School is the only school in Nevada using Education Corporations (or EdCorps) to create student-run, classroom-based businesses. EdCorps is part of Real World Scholars, a nonprofit organization that helps students start businesses.

Korder said he applied to be a part of the organization because he wanted to diversify the students’ learning experience.

“It gives them those skills to learn how to work together and to be entrepreneurs on their own,” he said. “Every subject gets incorporated in it. I didn’t have something like this growing up. It was sit and spew. Lecture. Lecture.”

Once the school was selected, Korder was given the option to receive startup funds to create a single business or multiple businesses for each of the school’s fifth-grade classes. He chose to develop three companies, including Korder’s Corner.

The others include his wife Debby Korder’s class, which started Korder’s Creative Creations and specializes slime, preserved jam, hand-painted flower pots and seeds, and Sweeney’s Luxurious Products — named for teacher Samantha Sweeney — which sells bath bombs and bath salts. Each class was given $1,000 to start a business.

The students, ages 10 to 12, developed their businesses during the fall and started production at the beginning of this year. They developed business plans, created logos and set prices. They also researched how to manufacture, label and distribute their products.

“It’s about empowering them to make those decisions,” Korder said. “(We) just kind of guide them.”

Once a week — during what is called STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and matemathics) Fridays — the students break up into their teams to make their products, and the classrooms turn into factories.

In Debby Korder’s class, two students use a jam and jelly maker to cook preserved jam from fruit that was grown in their teacher’s garden. Another group makes decorative clay pots. In another corner, students paint animal faces on recycled soda bottles and place gardening kits inside to make vegetables including lettuce, cilantro and peppers. Meanwhile, 11-year-old Edwin Santacruz designs the company’s website, and 10-year-old Jasmine Anderson shows off a commercial and jingle that she created.

The teachers train students on how to safely make their products and encourage creativity and critical thinking to solve problems.

“It blows my mind away,” Sweeney said. “I knew they had it in them. They surprise me every day when they do this.”

And when students hit roadblocks, they help each other.

“We experiment, and if something does not go right, it helps to learn from our mistakes so we can make the business better,” Jasmine said. “… I feel like it’s an amazing opportunity for fifth-graders to do this. When we’re older, if we want, we can start our own businesses and it will create jobs for more people. I’m just excited that we got to do something that’s this big.”

Parson’s principal, Christine Prosen, recalled a student’s comment made during one of the school’s weekly meetings.

“We have to conserve our resources and our materials because it affects our bottom line,” Prosen said, laughing. “It’s amazing. The teachers are impressed with how quickly they are learning math skills.”

The students sell their products out of their classroom, on the playground and at school events. They also receive orders via social media. The students hope to expand their customer base globally through their websites.

The fifth-graders said students at the school are their top customers, so they have adapted their product lines to meet their preferences. Their busiest production time was during holiday season.

The money the students make is reinvested into the school and is used by the students to engage in philanthropy, according to EdCorps. Korder said they are still deciding which nonprofit to donate a portion of their funds to.

The businesses had made more than $900 combined as of March 20. Each class has its business’ first dollar framed.

To reach North View reporter Kailyn Brown, call 702-387-5233 or email Follow her on Twitter: @KailynHype.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like