Children learn entrepreneurship

Create products during summer youth program

WARREN — Making candles, tie-dye shirts, cake pops and other items were showcased on the last day of the six-week summer program offered to children of the Highland Terrace Apartments by the United Methodist Community Center.

John Owens, summer program coordinator with the United Methodist Community Center, said the Acton Children’s Business Fair was a way not only to offer a summer camp, but also teach children business and marketing skills.

The final summer program was a combined community day / business fair held at Perkins Park for 23 children. Most of the children live in the TMHA Highland Terrace Apartments in Warren.

“Throughout the year we have been teaching the children how to start, operate and run their own business. They created their own products,” said Owens, noting children created jewelry, cornhole games, cookies, candles, lipstick, cakes and tie-dye t-shirts and socks.

“Outside of just having a summer camp we wanted to find ways where they could beautify their community. We provided the tools they needed to make a product and make some money and be their own bosses,” Owens said.

He said each child either with someone else or by his-/ herself made and created a product.

Carria Little, 12, of Warren, said she made cake pops as part of being a business person.

“This was a new experience for us. It was fun to make and decorate. We wanted to do cupcakes first but it was too much on such a small budget so we did cake pops,” she said.

Erica Brooks, 11, of Youngstown, said she made candles and found it was fun to make your own product to sell.

“We brainstormed what to do and thought scented candles are something people like. I learned how to make candles,” Brooks said.

James Czegledy, 11, of Warren, said his mother told him tie-dye shirts would be a good product to make and sell.

“The camp has been very fun,” he said.

Tayana Pannell, director of the United Methodist Community Center, said she was very impressed by the children’s hard work.

She said the Acton Foundation provided the curriculum that included financial literacy, marketing concepts and entrepreneurship materials.

Owens and his staff instructed the children and put on the final fair

“When we planned this, we did not want this to be just a summer camp but more of an enrichment program to learn lessons over six weeks,” she said.

Each day, the children recited the poem, “Never Neglect Me,” as encouragement to do well.

bcoupland @tribtoday.com