Fife High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students are hard at work again this year improving their own skills and helping younger students with theirs as well. For their FBLA American Enterprise Project, seniors Andrea Fredericksen, Avery Newberry and Brooke Taylor took a trip to Hedden Elementary to teach Cindy Berger’s 3rd-graders all about budgeting their money and by all counts it was a huge success.
“Over the years FHS FBLA has done several projects with Fife School District elementary students and this year was no exception,” said FBLA advisor Laura Hilzendeger. “The difference this year is that when Andrea, Avery and Brooke were in the 5th grade they experienced the American Enterprise Project smoothie project and were so excited to be doing it. It was a full circle moment and so exciting for me to see what a difference it makes to connect the high school and elementary students to each other.”
For this round of instruction on how to handle money, the three FBLA-ers used something that all children can relate to – cookies. Starting out with $20 each, the young students were challenged with purchasing a basic cookie in one of two sizes then choosing to spend however much they wanted on three options – frosting, sprinkles and candy toppings – and use their knowledge of addition and subtraction to keep track of how much money they were spending. Those who saved the most money by the end of the exercise received special prizes.
“It actually worked out really well because all of the students ended up having money left over so they all saved some money. Every student got some sort of prize at the end,” Taylor said.
Berger said it helped this year to prep the children on the basics of budgeting prior to their FBLA experience, something she hadn’t done last year and the difference was noticeable.
“This year they really caught on and were very responsive,” she said. “They loved it. The girls did a great job of re-introducing what a budget is and it went very smoothly – very nicely done.”
Third-grade is also the perfect time to work on budgeting. With the children already working on these types of math problems as part of the core curriculum, the FBLA students’ lesson takes it one step further by combining math lessons with real-world challenges.
Fredericksen, Newberry and Taylor will now write up a 15-page report on their American Enterprise Project and present it to judges at the FBLA state conference in April.