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École Acadienne students taking care of business

School entrepreneur program teaches students money management skills – and lets them turn over a little profit at Farmers Market

Students at the École Acadienne de Truro are going into business selling wares from jewelry to s’mores at the Farmers Market this Saturday as they learn about money management.

Running for its second summer, the 14 children were lent $30 each and told to buy supplies at local businesses to create a product they could sell, with the expectation they would pay back their starting funds and perhaps make a little profit.

“It’s amazing – I’ve been working with youth for the last 15 years and working with kids who are motivated makes all the difference. It makes my job easier and very, very rewarding, these kids show up with ideas in mind and they’re raring to go,” said project co-ordinator Kevin Poirier.

The children have produced a variety of products for sale. One student is selling woodwork including Tic Tack Toe and camping boards to people who want to enjoy the summer weather. Another child made sea shells.

While the students must repay their $30 starting loan, they can keep any profits they may make.

Poirier said that most youths understood the importance of managing money, but many did not know how, including older teens who find it difficult.

However, the École Acadienne students are all aged between nine and 12 and Poirier said that teaching them simple money management skills at an early age was key.

“They’ve already got themselves that base, they don’t have to catch themselves up on the basics,” said Poirier.

École Acadienne’s entrepreneur class is being run as a partnership between the Francophone Community Centre of Truro and the province-wide Schools Plus Program, where Poirier works as a community outreach co-ordinator.

As part of the week-long course, students touched on the sorts of products and services entrepreneurs and new businesses offer but focused mostly on small items that can be easily made and sold locally.

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