'Tis the season

Check presentation

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Dec. 17, 2013) — If the fourth-grade students at Pitner Elementary School are indicative of the next generation of business and community leaders, the future is in good hands.

After hosting an “Entrepreneurs’ Day” this fall, the students raised $1,487, which they donated to Camp MAGIK, a nonprofit organization founded by Irene McClatchey, a Kennesaw State University assistant professor of human services and social work. MAGIK is an acronym representing the camp’s mission: Mainly About Grief In Kids. Camp MAGIK supports children and adolescents in the bereavement process, helping them to normalize feelings surrounding their loss and to acquire healthy coping skills.

“This is one of the most touching gifts I’ve ever received,” McClatchey told the students who gathered for a check presentation Tuesday. “Your donation will pay for seven kids to come to camp, and that’s a huge contribution.”

The brainchild of fourth-grade teacher Lynn Scales, this is the second year Pitner’s PTSA has sponsored “Entrepreneurs’ Day” and the second year the proceeds have been donated to Camp MAGIK. Students not only created a product or service to sell, but also came up with a name for their company and drafted a business plan. The students’ desks served as their store.

“It was such a great learning experience for the students,” Scales said. “Part of the lesson was about how businesses don’t just raise money for profit, but also how they help the community.”

Scales said the students wanted to support a charity that was close by and served children. There are four Camp MAGIK sessions a year, each held in a different part of the state.

“You are helping kids less fortunate than you are, and that’s a wonderful thing,” Scales told the students. “When you’re all rich and famous businesspeople, maybe you’ll remember Camp MAGIK and donate to them in the future.”

With total sales of $54, 10-year-old Natalie Starnes was the top salesperson of “Entrepreneurs’ Day,” selling handmade barrettes and bows. Crafting is something she used to do with her grandfather, she said.

“Me and my grandpa would spend a lot of time together, and we would always do arts and crafts,” she said. “I think Camp MAGIK is good because talking about your feelings when a family member dies does help.”

--Jennifer Hafer