Polenta Elementary Students Learn Business Basics

Polenta Elementary student Gustavo Trujillo (left) purchases a bracelet from student Shelby Hoagland (right) at the school’s Entrepreneur Day on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The gymnasium at Polenta Elementary was transformed into a bustling market, full of student business owners and shoppers at the school’s Entrepreneur Day on Wednesday.

For the last four years, students at the elementary school created the Polenta Marketplace in the school during the month of December.

Fifth grade students learn how to be entrepreneurs by creating their own business plans and bringing those ideas to life.

“They’ve learned about what it means to be an entrepreneur, the character traits you need to succeed in this field, and what it means to make a profit,” said Sarah Adams, fifth grade teacher at Polenta Elementary.

Polenta Elementary student Shawn Blystone (center) plays a game designed by students Tripp Jones (left) and Joshua Waldon (right).

Students were tasked with either creating a product or a service, marketing their business to their classmates, and then opening shop for the marketplace.

The students created short commercials for their products that ran during lunch hours in the weeks leading up to the opening of the market.

“The students have really enjoyed seeing the commercials,” said Cindy Marotta, fifth grade teacher at Polenta Elementary. “The commercials created excitement around the market, and prepared the students to sell their products.”

Students from other grade levels were invited to participate and shop during the school day Wednesday.

The students made products like bracelets, Christmas ornaments, and baked goods. Some of the services included basketball games, face painting, and a bag toss game called Puma Toss.

Malana Cash (left), a student at Polenta Elementary, purchased art from fellow student Abigail Richards (right) at the Polenta Marketplace.

“It’s a fun learning experience, and I think everyone would like it,” said Sadiee Stone, fifth grade student at Polenta Elementary. “You get to create something, sell it to people, and really learn what it means to be an entrepreneur.”

All of the money raised at the Polenta Marketplace will be donated to the West Johnston Food Pantry and to the Polenta Elementary Backpack Buddies Program.

“The students are so excited to make something people like and to make a profit,” said Adams. “It’s not even money they get to keep. They’re excited to do this for the community.”