Student-created giving Foundation hosts annual Mission Bazaar
Oakbrook's gymnasium was filled with the sweet aroma of hot chocolate and hundreds of unique handmade items during Thursday's annual Christmas Missions Bazaar. While the fragrances have drifted, the impact will be felt for months to come.
Our Five Talents, Oakbrook’s student-led giving foundation comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, raised funds that will go towards helping students and teachers support projects that are specifically designed to carry out the Gospel both locally and globally. The foundation’s name is based on Matthew 25, which encourages Christians to use their individual gifts to serve others.
The money raised by the foundation came primarily through middle school students using their talents in Thursday’s annual bazaar. They sold homemade goodies, played music, and even repurposed items to earn money for their foundation that will provide grants in March to other students and teachers who apply.
The learning and preparation began back in September as the middle school students collaborated with upper schoolers and community leaders to learn basic economics, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Students reached out to local sponsors, as well as prepared business and marketing plans. Meanwhile, student grant readers worked to determine the guidelines for applicants.
In March, the students will accept applications and will begin the process of awarding gifts to assist students and teachers in using their talents as well to carry out the love of Christ through various missions and service projects both locally and worldwide.
While the bazaar may have ended hours ago, the learning hasn’t stopped. Today the students are critiquing themselves and reflecting on what was – or wasn’t – successful and brainstorming how they can make improvements for next year.
“The Christmas Missions Bazaar is a prime example of 21st Century Project-based, Strength-based, relevant learning. Just as there are important skills to master in math, English, science, Spanish, band, computer keyboarding, etc., there are many soft skills being learned in this process. These skills may be more difficult to measure, but their impact on our students' future success is immeasurable,” said Head of School Kyle Boyles.
21st Century Skills Used in the Mission Bazaar
Critical Thinking: research and create a business plan, what will sell, cost of expenses vs profit. Grant Readers worked together deciding on the amount to award applicants, if applicants met the requirements.
Creativity: artisans, design & marketing, led by their interests and skills.
Communication: students become business partners, advertising/marketing,
Collaboration: High School Econ students invited to instructed the middle school students in basic economics, entrepreneurship, and marketing - product, place, price, promotion, profit, and loss.