MIAMI – On a typical Friday at Kingdom Academy, nine- and 10-year-old entrepreneurs would be chasing profits — for a cause.
Randon Perry would be on the mic, hyping up crowds that gathered around The Stars, a performing-arts enterprise. The boys behind The Beast would offer sports lessons for a fee. The social media-savvy #Sweets hawked confections, but faced stiff competition from Pieces of Joy’s baked goods.
Fourth-graders at this diverse private school in western Miami-Dade County spend their first semester learning business concepts and doing market research. (The proprietors of The Beast found out through a SurveyMonkey poll of their classmates that basketball, football and soccer were the most popular sports.) They launched their ventures in January, offering real products and services to classmates for real money. They split the end-of-year proceeds between Autism Speaks and another charity of their choice.
The animal lovers behind Pieces of Joy sent their profits to PetsSmart Charities. They were the top earners, netting $160 after the cost of supplies. Their flagship product, cake pops, commanded $2 apiece. Daniella Vega, the lead supervisor, explained their appeal: “You can take cake anywhere, and just eat in your hand.”
The school embraces project-based learning, building lessons for each grade around a theme that helps students connect their classroom to the real world.
In Kindergarten, students probed the question: Where does food come from? Fifth-graders explored what makes America’s government different from other governments around the world.
Fourth graders learned what it would take to become a young entrepreneur.
But at Kingdom Academy, children have to demonstrate financial acumen at an even younger age.