During the academic school year, White House Middle School’s 5th Grade Math Teacher Misty Khan organized a new business expo program titled “Investment Kid,” where students had the opportunity to learn life and entrepreneurial skills and how to run their own business.
“At first, the business expo was something very easy and small, and then, when I came to White House Middle School, I decided I wanted to make it bigger,” said Klahn.
To do this, Klahn applied for and received a White House Chamber of Commerce grant.
During the program, 5th-grade students learned what a personal budget was, how to start a personal budget, how to open a checking account and how to run a check register.
Beyond that, students learned how to be an entrepreneur and how to open a business while having to do a budget with profits and losses. Finally, students had the opportunity to create their own businesses.
Once the students completed their business projects, the school hosted the business expo event, where students presented their businesses to White House public officials and parents. Each presentation included a business plan, a commercial, business cards and a logo.
Finally, White House Chamber of Commerce and School Board judges reviewed the projects and selected winners in the categories of the most original projects, the most creative projects and the most successful projects.
Three winners were selected for each category. Winning businesses included a handmade soap business, a homemade food business, an arts and crafts business, a sports lessons business, a lawn mowing business, a tree trimming business, a home security and alarm system business, a horseback riding lessons business and many more.
“There were all kinds of things that they came up with that were really good. They had a good time with it,” Misty Klahn.
She reflected on creating the program, saying, “I was able to find information and things online with my own background and with being the Math teacher. I found a lot of free websites and things as far as where the students made their business cards and what budget forms we were going to use. It was very much a hodgepodge of things that I put together to make the program what it was.”
Along with the chamber’s grant, Gerald Printing, located at 2932 US-31W in White House, also made a contribution to the business program: professional business folders for the students to keep their work in.
Altogether, “We wanted to give the kids life skills. In the elementary setting, money, finances and things like that have been taken out of the curriculum. They’ve deemed them home skills. I feel like it needs to be brought back into the curriculum and this is a good way to do it,” said Klahn.
Klahn plans to extend the program outside of the school, making a summer program where much more of the White House community can be involved and the students can receive scholarships.
For the summer program, there would be an application process where students would apply to be a part of the program. Klahn and other program members plan to get the chamber and local businesses much more involved. All the education levels, including kindergarten, middle school and high school, could participate.
At the end of the program, there could be a banquet for the grand prize winner. Lastly, the City of White House, the mayor, local businesses and other local officials could be involved to make the program a big deal for the community, the kids, and the future of White House.
“Our main goal is to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, and let’s teach these kids some life skills on how to function in the real world,” said Klahn.