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Dennis School

Watch now: First graders test business smarts at Dennis School market

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DECATUR — Judy Peters has an all-natural backyard, so when she found the plant booth at Dennis School's market on Thursday, she was an easy sale for the young proprietors.

“These are gorgeous zinnias,” said Peters, who was carrying two brown paper bags, decorated by the first-grade students. “And I bought this,” she added, indicating another plant, “which is a wild weed, but it's an all-natural yard I have, and I love anything that's in the earth.”

She left the choice of what to buy up to Emera Meyers and Richard Hines, the two youngsters running the booth. The plants came from The Garden Path, said their teacher, Emily Kelley, but the kids came up with the idea of making planters out of the bottom portion of water bottles from the school's recycling bin.


Judy Peters chats with Dennis School first-grader Emera Meyers, who was selling plants at one of the booths during the school's market day on Thursday. 

“Our first graders are holding a market day, where they offer goods and services they have created to our family members, our community members and our distinguished guests,” said teacher Jill Robertson.

The market was held in the gym at the Kaleidoscope campus on West Wood Street because of the heat on Thursday, and also because wind has been a problem at similar events in the past, she said.

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“Our students are super-excited,” said teacher Cassie Mann. “We're at the point now where everything's coming together. They've learned about economics and how they can produce things for other people to buy.”

The teachers conducted interest surveys to find out what products and services the young entrepreneurs might want to offer, said teacher Sara Daykin, and kids also took turns standing outside with bullhorns to coax customers to stop and come inside.

Lemonade stand

Amina Henry, left, and Everleigh Ekiss man their lemonade stand at Dennis School's market day on Thursday. Amina said they learned about producers and consumers on a trip downtown with their class and that they are producers. 

One booth offered cold lemonade for sale, in case anyone was thirsty due to that heat, and at the photo booth, fourth grade mentor Vera Powell helped her young friends practice by posing for photos until customers came along.

“We went downtown and we saw a lot of producers and consumers,” said Amina Henry. “What we are doing is we are selling lemonade for $1. We are being producers and people who are buying things are consumers.”

Janet Loehr, library assistant at Dennis' Mosaic campus, was manning the booth at the door, where consumers could exchange cash for play money dollars to pay for their purchases. She said she is happy to have in-person events back.

Photo booth

Vera Powell poses for photos at the photo booth run by Alea Larson, Hannah Scherer, A.J. Green and Tahj Davis at Dennis School's market day on Thursday. Vera, a fourth-grader, was acting as mentor to the first-grade students at the request of their teacher, Jill Robertson. 

Loehr also handed each “distinguished visitor” a list of questions to ask the youngsters, such as, “What made you choose this good/service to sell?” and “What was your favorite part of this project?”

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter


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