Sainte-Lucie students get entrepreneurial

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Sainte-Lucie students get entrepreneurial
Xavier Pilon being sprayed with essential oil bug spray by his mother Anne-Marie during Les Petits Entrepreneurs du CDSBEO 2019 (Shawna O`Neill/Seaway News photo).

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – Principal Ron Cheffer was blown away with the creativity demonstrated by students at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Lucie (CSDCEO) during the first ever Les Petits Entrepreneurs event.

On Tuesday, June 18, students from Grades 4 to 6 opened their own business for a day, either selling products or services to fellow students, staff, friends and family in attendance.

“They started in April, fabricating things for this big day. At the same time, we are celebrating the end of the (school) year. We’ve got play structures, a dunk tank and they’ve got the chance to dunk me at the same time,” said Cheffer with a laugh. “There are so many different things here. There are plants (businesses), mosquito repellent, foods, juices…I know I’m buying myself some trees. It is just absolutely amazing, seeing what they were able to create.”

Cheffer said that the business event was integrated into students’ curriculum over the last few months, with local entrepreneurs lending a helping hand along the way to better introduce students to entry level business management.

“We are trying to elaborate a little more into different interests instead of always being paper and pencil…it gives the kids the chance to explore their different interests and skills,” said Cheffer, who hopes that students foster entrepreneurial mindsets going into high school and post secondary education after this event.

“That’s one thing I was trying to explain to the kids, I said ‘you’ve got to be able to try to comprehend what profit is…how much you have to make to cover the costs’…it’s the fact they’re creating a product, delivering a setup and publicity…they’re marketing too, the way they’re going to sell their product,” said Cheffer proudly.

Xavier Pilon enjoyed his experience marketing his essential oil, X-Man mosquito repellent with the help of his mother, Anne Marie. Both concluded, while sitting on their porch being bombarded by mosquitos, that a natural bug spray would be an ideal product to sell. Anne Marie said that she wanted to make something that individuals of all ages could use and not have to worry about harmful chemicals.

“We were doing a recipe of four ounces. We did two ounces of witch hazel, two ounces of water, 10 drops of lavender, five drops of lemon and five drops of eucalyptus,” said Xavier.

Xavier said he had fun making the spray with his mother but the smell was very overpowering during the creation process. He is contemplating following in the shoes of his grandfather as a businessman.

“Come down to Saint-Lucie next year for this event and see what we will come up with,” said Xavier.

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