MORRISTOWN, NJ - As another successful cycle of electives comes to an end at Unity Charter School, one in particular has the CommUnity buzzing with excitement. Fifth grade teacher Kelly Fedynich has hit the ground running during her first year at Unity with one of her many contributions being the introduction of a new program called TREP$ that is now offered as a middle school elective. During TREP$, students learned about entrepreneurship, through project-based learning, by creating their own business. Students were taught how to select and create a business idea, the difference between revenue and expenses and how all successful businesses must plan for their profits and losses.
The program goes beyond the creative and financial considerations of running a business. The students also learned different marketing strategies and were responsible for creating advertisements to market their products or services. A panel of their peers was selected to act as focus groups for their product ideas in order to provide meaningful feedback. Through this process, TREP$ students applied the public speaking techniques that they were taught throughout the elective.
All of their hard work culminated with an unforgettable evening at Unity on Friday, February 21st. Students wowed the CommUnity with their innovative ideas and sold their products at the TREP$ Marketplace event. Products included homemade dog treats and toys, reusable bags, handmade dolls, scrunchies, lip scrub and keychains, bookmarks and more! It was evident that the students exercised their knowledge of Sustainable Economics through their choices to use recycled materials and promote reusable products. They demonstrated lateral thinking skills by developing products and services that were “outside of the box” and completely unique.
Teacher Kelly Feynich was thrilled with the outcome of the elective stating, “my favorite part is seeing their products come to life. For the last few months, I hear about what they’re creating but I don’t actually get to see it since it’s completed at home. Overall, the marketplace was a success! Every student walked away with a profit and at the end of the night, the smiles were radiating off of all of their faces.” It is always special to witness the joy and pride students feel when they have the opportunity to see their hard work pay off.
The TREP$ elective, seamlessly run by Kelly Fedynich and Jeannette Hainzl, was such a success in its first year and the CommUnity is looking forward to seeing this program continue to grow in the coming years.