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Hands on at West Broad
|Messenger photo by Whitney Wilson Coy
West Broad Elementary student Tony Johnson, 10, carefully dips a “yule log” into hot wax as his cousin, Jordan Camper, 11 watches closely. Teacher Joan Bucy says the two boys were picked to be waxers because they are very careful. The yule logs will be sold at a fundraiser sale on Dec. 15 along with pine cone starters.
A group of students at West Broad Elementary are working hard for a good cause this holiday season.
Third, fourth and fifth graders in Joan Bucy and Carolyn Kerns’ special education class are opening a special holiday store, where their fellow students can purchase gift items for family members. Not only are they operating the store, but they are also putting in the work needed to fill the store with goodies.
While many gift items were donated from area businesses, organizations, churches and individuals, a big gap still remains if every child will be able to purchase gifts. By Bucy’s calculations, that gap amounts to nearly $500.
To help fill the store with inventory, the students are manufacturing and selling their own holiday fireplace fire starters.
The two different kinds of starters, a “yule log” made of rolled up newspaper dipped in wax, and a “pine cone starter” made of pine cones dipped in wax, are made of donated and recycled material.
According to Bucy, the experience is teaching the kids a lot about life.
Each student is assigned a job according to their own skills, and they must be trained and then perform to certain standards. Positions include sorters, rippers, rollers, stringers, waxers and quality control.
Bucy says that aside from a valuable lesson in work ethic, the students have also learned about operating a business. They have eliminated costs by using donated materials, which allowed them to set low prices for the finished material, which they hope will bolster sales.
The yule logs will sell for 50 cents each, or five for $2. The pine cone starters will sell for 75 cents a piece, or 5 for $3.
The students have also set their own penalties for students who choose not to do their job.
“They came up with that all on their own. We didn’t even think of it,” said Bucy.
They even earn a salary. Each student who puts in a week’s worth of work will receive $5 in pay. The pay comes in the form of WB Bucks.
WB Bucks, a student incentive program that rewards good behavior and effort, is also the form of payment that will be required in the holiday store.
Anyone wishing to purchase a homemade fire starter from the students or to make a monetary donation to their holiday store can do so by visiting their fundraiser sale from 3:30-4 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the school’s playground, or by contacting Bucy at the school.
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