The entrepreneurs and manufacturing class at Falcon Bluffs Middle School is no ordinary shop class.
Students in John Trujillo’s eighth-grade elective do more than learn how to make wood products and use machinery. They learn how to market, run public relations and sell their product to the community. They then give back, donating the proceeds to the Make A Wish Foundation.
“It’s very impressive for those kids,” Trujillo said. “Rarely do middle schools do this.”
This year’s class is making and marketing a decorative wheelbarrow for use as a planter. The 19 students have broken into groups and focus on marketing, public relations or manufacturing. This year’s business is called “Wishes on Wheels.”
All students participate in making the wheelbarrows after a procedure is put in place. The students then work in an assembly-line fashion with the goal of making 200 wheelbarrows by the end of the school year.
They’re selling to people in the Falcon Bluffs community in south Jefferson County for $20 apiece or two for $35. Trujillo didn’t want to overwhelm the students and open up sales to a broader audience.
The goal is to sell all 200, which would provide more than $2,000 to donate to Make A Wish’s Kids for Wish Kids program.
Last year, Falcon Bluffs donated $2,100 when the class made wooden crates to hold mason jars, calling it “Wish Upon a Jar.”
The Make A Wish Foundation took in more than $600,000 last year from schools across the state, but according to Kids for Wish Kids program manager Sarah Grosh, this program is different.