Nikki Carlson Havre Daily News email@example.com
Local fifth-grade students took on the enormous responsibility of running their own businesses at the annual Sunnyside Intermediate School Trade Fair on Thursday, Dec. 18. Their efforts and products were a hit with the combined classes selling $2,138 worth of handmade merchandise to the community. Fifth-grade teacher Steve Fanning said the purpose of the Trade Fair is to teach kids to be creative, work together, brainstorm and to give back to the community. Fanning added that students are instructed to create items out of everyday things around the house to incorporate recycling into the project. "This year was one of the better years for doing that," he said. "A lot of them were able to make things out of garbage." Students were given the liberty of either forming groups or working independently on the project. Students worked during and after school to prepare or the Thursday night event. They created their own products from cardboard napkin holders to lightup lava lamps. Fanning said the only restriction was baked goods. The students discussed business concepts, advertising and selling strategies. Students also created newspaper advertisements for their mock businesses that were published in the Dec. 15 edition of the Havre Daily News. Local businesses sponsored the advertisements. The main event was a madhouse with people streaming up and down the crowded hallways and gymnasium of the school to support the students' creativity and to find inventive knickknacks and gifts for the season. There were about 50 businesses, or booths, set up throughout the school. Students eagerly talked about their items and collected money from customers, carefully counting back customers' change. Fanning said a small portion of the proceeds are used for the fifth-graders to have a pizza party in celebration of a job well-done. Most of the money will go to a charity. Fanning said Friday, Dec. 19, that the charity will be decided in January. "We haven't decided on the charities as of yet, each class will vote for their top three, then we come together to decide how to split up the donations," he said. Places that the fifth-graders have donated to in the past are Kitty Keepers, the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line, Kids for Cancer, the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, Hope for Africa, the Salvation Army, Ren's Rescue, Toys for Tots, Hill County Conservation District (Bu r d o c k Pr o j e c t ) a n d Homeless Teens. Fanning said it is not unusual for the fifthgrade class to make $2,000 from the Trade Fair. In fact, it has been done in the previous years as well. Along with Fanning's class, the other fifth-grade classes that participated in the successful Trade Fair this year were those of teachers C. David Ross, Marge Suek, Danelle Shade and Dick Fuzesy. Shade's class brought in $475, Suek's totaled $369, Ross' class earned $356.61, Fuzesy's $431.50 and Fanning's total was $505.50. "Every year, we have really great support from our community. We really appreciate them coming," Fanning said.