This month, students who participate in Hot Spots Extended Care Programs around Maryland had the opportunity to learn about money, society and business through engaging activities and lesson plans.

During the month of February, students at Hot Spots Extended Care Program had the unique opportunity to create their own businesses. Students conceived and developed organizations intended to sell products or provide services, and had the opportunity to open their businesses to other students who could purchase their offerings. HSECP student-led businesses included banks, jewelry creation, jewelry sales and iPod repairs. While these activities proved to be fun and engaging, the lessons also introduced students to an entrepreneurial thought process that has been proven to benefit children throughout school and in adulthood.

Curriculum that Accomplishes More than Education Reinforcement

During Hot Spots’ Mini Society lessons, students engaged in learning that, on the surface, taught them practical and applicable business skills. Yet these lessons also began to introduce Hot Spots students to underlying principles that, when nurtured further, can help them throughout their development and assimilation into adulthood.

Financial literacy: Hot Spots students learned that running a business not only requires financial literacy, but fiscal responsibility. Such lessons build a foundation of financial knowledge that children often do not have access to through traditional curriculum, and provide children with a sense of accountability for their earnings, savings and spending.

Advertising: Teaching children to be advertisers introduces them to the idea of making a sale and reaching an audience. In doing so, students are challenged to develop creative pathways to their audience and to develop a unique message around their product or service. As students age, they will be able to not only apply these skills to jobs, but to their personal brand and the way that they communicate who they are and what they are capable of to others.

Business Management: One of the core components of the HSECP Mini Society lessons was business development and management. To successfully manage their businesses, students learned that they needed to engage in effective communication, team work and planning. The culmination of these skills led students to develop and implement ideas that drove teams to create innovative products and services.

Supply and Demand: Students who participated in Hot Spots’ Mini Society lessons were taught about the nature of supply and demand and its effect on both businesses and society. Just as these principles force businesses to adapt in the real-world, students learned that they must adapt their business ideas creatively to solve problems created by the same.

Benefits of Encouraging Young Entrepreneurship

HSECP Mini-Society lessons taught children about the process of developing a business, emphasized the importance of planning, and introduced the idea of fiscal responsibility. These types of lessons not only help students to develop practices that are important for achieving goals and success in adulthood, but begin to imbue in them components of entrepreneurial thought such as innovation and information synthesis.

Further, students who are introduced to entrepreneurship at a younger age often develop the ability to creatively discover and consider a greater number of possibilities and opportunities when faced with challenges and decisions. This is because building a business requires an individual to form creative solutions using limited resources; to effectively coordinate the exchange of resources; and to plan and schedule the use of resources over time to allow a business to succeed in the long-run. Nurturing these important abilities at an early age helps children to succeed in other areas of their education as well. Research continues to show that children who are exposed to entrepreneurship and lessons in business display stronger aptitude in math and reading comprehension because they have a better understanding of how to apply those competencies in real-world situations.

Hot Spots Extended Care Program builds custom curriculum that introduces students to nontraditional learning experiences while enhancing what is taught in Maryland schools. Each program works with its host school to structure curriculum lessons based on the goals of the institution and the needs of its students. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities offered through Hot Spots Extended Care Programs, or speaking to a Hot Spots representative about implementing the program in your school, contact us today!