BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - A mini marketplace with mini merchants has been set up in Brandon by Brandon Elementary's 5th grade Venture students, and it's the culmination of nine weeks of studying about government and entrepreneurship.
"We have elected a mayor and a board of alderman, we have weekly board meetings where students make decisions for the citizens of their pretend community called Dimes Square," says Venture teacher Donna Mabus.
Students from Brandon schools donate $3, and get $17 in paper dollars to spend at 55 different store fronts. They must make buying decisions regarding items made out of rocks, paper, cans, sticks, beads, and recycled materials.
"It was pretty fun because you kept walking around talking to people in your class and buying stuff," says 5th grade shopper Braden Patridge.
Abby McCordle's book marks are made from popsicle sticks. "They cost $1.00," she says. "I've learned that it doesn't matter if you sell out, just have a good time."
Cody Hinton's store name is Gameday. "I'm selling paper footballs with a little goal," he says. "Yesterday we made about $154 (in paper money)."
The real cash made at Dimes Square will go toward the building they're holding it in. Brandon's City Center is not complete. The renovation of the old building off Highway 80 will cost around $1.5 million.
"This room is planned to be used for a convention center, performing arts complex," says Brandon Mayor Tim Coulter. "The Venture teacher and principal came and said look, these kids want to donate whatever money they make in renovating this room. It's a great thing, they're the ones leading by example," he says.
City center should be complete by the fall, depending on when and how the revenue is acquired.
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