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Business collaborators

CVHS, Sunrise students partner to build sales experience

The gymnasium at Sunrise Elementary School buzzed with the energy of a Black Friday sale this week, with shoppers visiting retailers who were offering their best bargains.

The third-graders at Sunrise have been working with students from Central Valley High School’s DECA program, learning how to create and market a product.

CV senior Bailey Bergdahl said they have been teaching the four “Ps” of entrepreneurship to the Young Entrepreneurship Students – price, place, product and promotion.

Once the students learned the concepts, they created their own products. Some of them made Christmas ornaments, while others decorated tote bags and made beaded keychains. They made posters to attract customers and offered deals.

DECA adviser Robin Barnhart said this is the first year CV and Sunrise students have collaborated on a project. DECA students Justin Fayant and Molly Barnhart, Robin Barnhart’s daughter, organized the event and assigned club members to work with the third-graders to create a product.

“It’s going a lot better than I thought,” Molly Barnhart said. She was excited to see the students’ projects and their sales pitches.

Over at Gem Totes, Bergdahl watched over Gabby Walter, 9, and Magan Miya, 8, as they sold their decorated bags. They were selling them for $1 for a small bag and $2 for a larger one. Bergdahl said each bag cost about 84 cents to make, so they made a 16 cent profit on the smaller ones and $1.16 on the larger ones.

“It took us about two minutes to do one side of the bag,” Walter said.

They also came up with a special offer – buy two small bags and get a large one free.

Bergdahl said she was surprised at how outgoing the younger students were.

“I’ve had a great experience,” she said.

Some of the older students sent the younger ones into the crowd to round up more customers when business slowed.

“We’re selling animals made out of beads,” announced Alyssa Fotheringham, 9. Her business was called Awesome Bead Buds, and although they ran out of materials to make the animals, they had enough to sell beaded bracelets and necklaces.

Ashley Wood, 8, and Matthew Theodorson, 9, were selling beaded jewelry at their booth.

“He helped,” Wood said while she pointed out their CV helper, Scott Hilpert, “and I made all the rings.”

Hilpert said Wood and Theordorson were excellent students to work with and came up with their own ideas. It reminded him a lot of his own elementary school days, he said.

Robin Barnhart said the DECA students will judge the best product, best promotion and the best company name. The winning teams will get candy for their efforts.

While making a profit wasn’t the goal of the projects, the funds will go back to the third grade classrooms at the school.