The Good News Project : Students Learn About Business and Marketing Through Pens

By: Jonalee Merkel Email
By: Jonalee Merkel Email

Chances are you've heard of groups like Junior Achievement or Future Business Leaders of America.

They're two of several organizations that encourage high school students to become entrepreneurs.

In the West Indies, that inspiration is coming from a local Good News volunteer hoping to get kids interested in the hand-crafted pen business.

When kids at Castle Bruce Secondary School were asked to stay after class two hours, for the rest of the school year, most of them said, "Yes!"

They jumped at the chance to learn a craft that could help them make some money, and learn about business and marketing.

"Our teacher asked us to do a project and I thought it would be interested doing pens out of wood," says Ransom Frederick.

"It's a culture where they embrace opportunity when they have it and they take pride in something they made with their own hands," says Pat Peckham.

Good News volunteer Pat Peckham, is teaching the art of making gift-quality wooden pens, wine bottle stoppers and light pulls.

She says, "It's like starting a company within a school and if they help to start the company and put their sweat equity in, that they're going to run somewhat like a cooperative where some of the proceeds from the op go back to the students."

"They're going to make these products and attempt to sell them, mostly to tourists," says Peckham, "There's kind of a personal connection to the country rather than something made in China that has St. Vincent printed on it."

The secret to success is finding the proper way to market these pens so the school can make money selling them.

"They're readily sold if people know something about them," Peckham says.

At his school, Peckham came equipped with a display case.

Student hope it will help draw attention to their artwork, and most importantly help sell it.

The students are ready to keep the pen project going.

They're now equipped with everything they need, including the machinery and plenty of local wood scraps.


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