Hampton Roads Academy Students Learn Business Skills through Class Project

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Hampton Roads Academy third grade students complete fieldwork at Williamsburg Wicker and Patio and North Carolina Furniture and Mattress. (Courtesy Hampton Roads Academy)
Hampton Roads Academy third grade students complete fieldwork at Williamsburg Wicker and Patio and North Carolina Furniture and Mattress. (Courtesy Hampton Roads Academy)

In between learning their multiplication tables and lists of spelling words, third-grade students at Hampton Roads Academy are learning a lesson in how to start and run a business.

The students have recently been tasked with reading about, researching, writing about and interviewing three local businesses: Williamsburg Wicker and Patio, North Carolina Furniture and Mattress, and RingO’s Donuts. On visits to each business, students had the opportunity to interview experts about the challenges of running a business.

Students were also treated to presentations from the owners of Peninsula Pediatric Dentistry and Browning Insurance and Financial Services.

“Project-based learning is a tool which allows more in-depth learning of important topics,” Head of Lower School Susanne Swain said. “Students can apply these learned skills and strategies to solve real world problems.”

The project was inspired by Jacqueline Davies’ novel The Lemonade War, which tells the story of two siblings running competing lemonade stands.

Having completed their research and fieldwork, HRA third-graders will make a business plan of their own. The students sold their selected product – candy – at the Kiln Creek location of The Christine Garvey Memorial Soccer Tournament, which took place last week.

The tournament, founded in memory of the mother of HRA third-grade teacher Kate Goddin, served as a venue for the children to execute their business plan.

Not only did the tournament give the students an outlet to practice their newly learned business sills, it also offered them a lesson in philanthropy and community service. In its 17 years of existence, the tournament has raised more than $145,000 for cancer charities.

“I have really enjoyed working with our students on this project,” Goddin said. “There is so much growth that happens throughout the process, the children take ownership of their learning and have the opportunity to really apply what they learn. I am particularly pleased that they will demonstrate their learning and growth at a tournament that is so important to me.”

For more information about this year’s tournament, click here.

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