Kids team up to market Monterey

Older students mentor younger, creating products for March 9 sale

In the woodwork shop Aidan McCarthy drills holes into his natural pen holders to sell during the March 9 market.

Grade 7 student Pranathi Kanisetty winds her way through the halls of Monterey, explaining activities in each classroom upon approach. She’s among those in a Grade 7/8 class heading up the organization of the coming Monterey Market.

“The upcoming Monterey Market is the culmination of our school-wide Young Entrepreneurs Project, through which all of our Grade 6 students have been involved in designing and creating their own unique craft to bring to market,” says principal Ken Andrews.

“The young entrepreneur learning activities incorporate, integrate and reinforce our students’ core academic competencies – as they conduct market research, develop a business plan and budget, promote and advertise their product.”

In the drama room Grade 6 students work on marketing with their Grade 8 mentors, Kanisetty explains. Isabella McLaughlin creates colourful poster alongside friends Oriana Fairbrother and Orla Fearing.

“I’m learning a lot about marketing and how to manage money,” said McLaughlin, who crafted using skills she already possessed. “I’ve made jewellery before, but never sold it. I’m feeling pretty proud of it. I think it’s going to turn out pretty well.”

Kanisetty leads out and around and down some stairs to where sewing machines sing along one wall of a room. On the other, a trio of boys works adjacent to a sink, amid the scent of lemon and vanilla. Corbin Miller chose to research a product he found in a book and felt might sell well – bath bombs. “I just thought why not? I’ve never made anything like that,” Miller says.

The first one he made “smelled like wet dog,” Miller admits, but by the third batch they were both smelling good and dissolving as expected.

In the middle of the room, girls hand-stitch a variety of crafts. Olivia Friesen works on Easter bunnies that will be stuffed and come with a care card and chocolate egg, while Jasmine Wei stitches a tiny felt pony for her variety of cute keychains (not all ponies).

Across the hall in the woodshop, Isis Taylor swipes peach paint onto blocks of wood that will become robot pencil holders. Nearby, Aidan McCarthy drills holes into wood rounds for a completely different approach for pencils.

The learning endeavour weaves academic skills with those exploratory classes – woodshop, sewing, art and working with the 3D print lab – as the young entrepreneurs create products under the guidance of Grade 8 mentors.

“It’s really fun to help the kids,” says mentor Tessa Jones. “You can see them improving their marketing skills and I think they’re having fun too.”

The Monterey Market will see more than 100 student vendors selling wares, food carts and live music. The public is welcome to purchase student-made crafts and socialize while having dinner and enjoying the music.

“We have Grade 7 film-makers creating infomercials about the Grade 6 students and their products as well as mini-documentaries about the entire process,” Andrews says. “It’s been so great to see over 200 students and a dozen Monterey teachers – involving all three grade levels and both academic and exploratory/music programs – working together on this collaborative endeavour.”

The student market runs March 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school, 851 Monterey Ave.