“Mini Mall” Showcases Entrepreneurship Across Grades

Students at The Learning Center Charter School recently held the first of two annual mini malls on campus. This popular event is made possible through a program called Middle REAL.

Offered to 5th through 8th graders, Middle REAL (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) provides curricula, training and resources to help rural students grow through hands-on entrepreneurship education and small business creation.  The school also has a Mini REAL program that serves kindergarten through 4th graders. Both programs are a part of the North Carolina REAL program which is dedicated to helping bring entrepreneurship and small business creation to our state.

The Mini and Middle REAL programs work together to hold two annual Mini Malls, an event that has students in kindergarten through fourth grades “shopping” at the Mini Mall with “bucks” they’ve earned in their classroom throughout the school year.  Middle school students are responsible for creating all the goods and services available at the Mini Mall.  These students create their business from the ground up doing everything from business plans, market surveys, and product design. For the first time this year, students even made video commercials advertising their business.

“This Mini Mall saw everything from popcorn and juice for sale to rented time enjoying a virtual reality machine,” said school Director, Mary Jo Dyre.  “Although the day of the event was very much fun and games, the skills these students learned creating their businesses are valuable and will serve them for years to come.”

You can find out more about the REAL Entrepreneurship program at www.ncreal.org.


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