Thursday, March 19, 2020

Students Learn Business Tips

In May of 1976, students in a math class at Covington Middle School started a business, a T-Shirt printing business producing silk-screened shirts of their own design. Here's the article in the News Banner of May 26 of that year. Click on the images below to enlarge the picture. 

Wall Street would have been proud of McKee, Legendre, and Covington Middle, Inc., a "big Business" corporation set up by Ms. Legendre's Group I, 5th grade math class of Covington Middles School during May, 1976.

When the students elected to form a business, they invested their own money in shares of stock in their corporation to produce printed T-Shirts. With a $40 investment they purchased T-Shirts, fabric, paint, and a frame and silk for a silk screen. After creating many original designs for their T-Shirts, the stockholders voted for "Covington Cool Cats" with a smiling cat doing 'The Fonz" thumbs up.

Proving that learning can be both fun and interesting, the project provided an opportunity for the students to relate the basic concepts taught in math to the everyday experiences they need to know. Each child kept records of the continuous process of the sale of the stock. Every student made out "checks" to the stores for expenditures and kept a bank balance of debits and credits coming from the sale of the shirts. 

Learning that advertising is a necessary device in a modern system of distributing goods, the students made posters to encourage sales of their product. The Importance of how to measure off the lettering was emphasized in their poster making.

After a week, the industrious students figured out 15 cents interest on each $1 share, however. they did not include the labor involved. As business expanded, students were hired to stay in and do the work, keeping time sheets of their hours. Including this in their expenditures the business ended up with a 30 percent profit.

However, disregarding the profit, the point of the project was to teach the class how bank accounts operated, how money can be invested, and how a business can be started. As a result of their business venture and their enthusiasm, there are a lot of "Covington Coo! Cats"walking around.

Ms Legendre is to be commended for her efforts In teaching the basics of math in a manner that will make them more meaningful for her students That emphasis is part of the Career Education program in St Tammany Parish, a phase of education that is exploding all over the nation.

Through Career Education educators are taking a closer look at who students are, what they are, and where they are going. It means looking for ways to teach the basics of education in a more meaningful way to develop such factors as decision making skills, to teach responsible attitudes toward the dignity of all work, and to emphasize self-awareness.