FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County has a new group of entrepreneurs whose hearts are focused on the environment, not the bottom line.
“It is a student-run business, facilitated by teachers,” Laura Fedorchuk, gifted teacher at Kelly Mill Elementary School, said.
“They all have great ideas, one-on-one interviews allow each student an opportunity to speak up,” Fedorchuk said. “After interviews, students are placed in roles based on wishes and abilities.”
Fifth graders said they felt the business needed a leadership team to take some tasks off teachers, said Stephanie Sumner, KMES gifted teacher.
“They said ‘we can do this,’ so we let them,” Sumner said. “We facilitate, we step out and let them run with it.”
Offering products like “sugar scrubs,” “kindness cars” and “bug-a-doodles,” students in Kelly Mill Elementary School’s Gifted Children’s Program have taken their business online to raise awareness of the precarious situation of the Monarch butterfly.
Fifth grader Nolan Lancaster, 10, suggested the name that has become the brand, Scribble It Kids.
The third, fourth and fifth graders interview for positions within the various components — sales/R&D, shipping, leadership, design, marketing and production — of Scribble It Kids.
With a varied, “be kind” product line, sales are growing.
Kayden Sell, 9, explained bug-a-doodles as small “pebbles” hand-painted in a variety of designs. The “December-r-r-r” collection, which features cold-weather images, was created by Molly Shadburn. Bug-a-doodles are featured as “Be Kind to Others.”
Flower sprouters are “small little balls that have clay and dirt and flower seeds which can be planted in your yard,” explained fourth grader Allorah Gideon. The resulting flowers are favorites of Monarch butterflies. The sprouters are part of the “Be Kind to the Earth” component.
A third product is kindness cars which are Matchbox cars painted to look like bug-a-doodles. The tiny vehicles can be raced or collected, Brielle Corcimiglia, fourth grader said.
Will Hart, another fourth grader, described the use of sugar scrubs as a great way to get clean, soft hands. The scrubs contain sugar, scent and mica powder which provides color, fifth grader Eli Brackett explained. Another personal care item is bath bombs which come in adult and child varieties. Sugar scrubs are considered “Be Kind to Yourself” and “Be Kind to Others” products because they make great gifts.
Kid soaps have a toy encased within the soap and come in fun colors and scents. Adult soaps look and smell sophisticated, said Sumner.
Scribble It Kids began in 2018 when Sumner wanted to teach about products, sales marketing, mission statements, money, production and STEAM.
“We needed the principal’s permission so we had this great presentation showing products and then he decided, so now we are at the place we are today,” student Justin Marshall said.
All components of the business fit standards, Sumner said, and the students get real-world experiences offered through interviews and participating in the various sections. The logo was developed by the marketing group.
The students also learned an important lesson regarding product names. The research team did a patent search and discovered a problem with using “bug-a-boos.”
“The reason they’re called bug-a-doodles,” student Sawyer Ronn explained. “There was already a product out that had the name bug-a-boo, it was like a stroller.”
The products have been sold around the school very successfully. Each purchase comes with a kindness card.
“We have a building of 1,300, and we go through these [bug-a-doodles],” Sumner laughed. “Nothing sells as much as bug-a-doodles and soaps, though.”
In fact, sales are so great that the students decided to take their products to the world.
The grant-funded, student-built website went live early this month, and the first three online orders — from California, Tennessee and Georgia — have been filled. Fifth graders built it and continue to run it.
Tests for timing, packaging and speedy delivery were conducted prior to fulfilling orders.
When the fifth graders move on to middle school and leave their business, they’re not worried.
“Kids in lower grades [third and fourth] will take the business on,” Marshall said.
“Second graders want to join the business,” Sumner said.
Currently, third graders are the youngest members.
The students have established gardens at the school where they grow milkweed, a butterfly favorite, and butterfly bushes.
Students will be on break from mid-December to early January and have been working on inventory for lots of new orders.