West Madison applies BizWorld for homeless pets

Wendy Tibbs, far right, and her fifth-grade gifted students give a donation to Friends of Rescue (FOR). Kristy with FOR brought Sandy, a foster dog. CONTRIBUTED
Wendy Tibbs, far right, and her fifth-grade gifted students give a donation to Friends of Rescue (FOR). Kristy with FOR brought Sandy, a foster dog. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – A lesson in entrepreneurship at West Madison Elementary School helped homeless dogs at Friends of Rescue (FOR).

Gifted specialist Wendy Tibbs led her fifth-graders on a “social impact challenge” affiliated with BizWorld.org.

“This national organization helps teach entrepreneurship to students through a business simulation. Our fifth-graders ‘graduated’ from that simulation last year and were excited to enter into this new challenge through the company,” Tibbs said.

In summary, the West Madison fifth-graders were challenged to find a business idea that would allow them to raise money for a charity of their choice. “BizWorld offered us $100 in ‘seed money’ to start up our ideas,” Tibbs said. “Students took the idea and ran with it.”

From their own research, students reviewed various charities, like mosquito netting for a third-world country. “After some healthy debate, they agreed to focus on Friends of Rescue, a Huntsville/Madison County organization that provides foster homes for stray cats and dogs” rather than shelters, Tibbs said.

In creating their merchandise, students made unique supplies for school, decorations and dog toys. “Others decided to create and sell bookmarks and origami items. Then, they stumbled on the idea of holding ‘how to’ sessions for students who wanted to learn to make cool origami items,” Tibbs said.

Another West Madison ‘company’ did yard work for friends, family and neighbors to raise money.

BizWorld required West Madison to pay back the seed money from their profits, “just like in ‘real life.’ Plus, we had to pledge to fund another school getting the BizWorld kit for their classroom,” Tibbs said.

“After those commitments were skimmed off, the rest could go to the charity,” she said.

Tibbs’ students held “market day” sessions in the library to sell their wares and also accepted cash donations. “We raised $200.11 for FOR, plus the required $250 for BizWorld ($100 in seed money plus $150 for another school),” Tibbs said.

Kristy with FOR visited West Madison with foster dog Sandy to accept the donations. “Sandy, of course, stole the show,” Tibbs said.

For more information, visit Facebook/Friends of Rescue.

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