Students Use “Back to School” to Market Their Homemade Masks

What do you do when your class business ideas are foiled by COVID-19? If you’re part of the Grade 6/7 class at Sperling Elementary, you turn it into inspiration for a new project.

Danielle Millar’s students originally planned to work in groups on different businesses to start up. When the pandemic hit, they had to quickly change plans. With students learning from home and knowing that the gradual return of in-class instruction was around the corner, they decided to make a business out of sewing, marketing, and selling cloth masks for sale to the school community.

The school loaned 10 sewing machines to students who didn’t have them at home. Students researched designs, put out a call for donated cloth and elastic, and production followed. Some, who had never sewn before, acquired a new skill and everyone learned how to work as a team on a real business for the first time.

Ms Millar:

It has been inspiring to me to feel us all come together as a community while creating this business online. I am proud of my students and their families for persevering in order to learn a brand new skill for most – sewing. Community has been very important to us this year as a class, and we are proud to have created something that can help others.”

Students marketed the masks for $5 each to the school community, with purchase available through the School Cash Online system. Students also had the crafty idea to offer up their masks for sale on June 1 when in-class learning expanded. They set up a sales table in the courtyard outside while ensuring everyone was following physical distancing protocols.

They raised $500 and had to decide together where they wanted the money to go. In the end, the students donated it to the Vancouver Aquarium.

Ms Millar credits the Business of Our Own program through Junior Achievement – a non-profit that teaches students basic business concepts – as a critical resource for the class. Students learned how to start a business, produce and promote their products, track their finances and manage a team.

Read the story in the Burnaby Now.


Posted June 2020