Prairieview students work on their sales pitch

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Joshua Vercekaites shows off his bath bombs prior to the VPES Grade 5-6 Leadership Market.

VULCAN – Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School student Joshua Vercekaites has already learned that entrepreneurs must be ready to adapt to thrive.

Last year his homemade cookies were a big hit at the Palliser school’s annual Grade 5/6 Leadership Market.

“I had one left over, and I think you can guess what happened to that!” said the Grade 6 student, with a grin.

Despite his success, this year’s market – with more than 60 stations offering a variety of handmade goods in the school’s foyer ­– saw Vercekaites selling bath bombs at $3 apiece.

“I feel like it’s kind of boring to do the same thing over-and-over again. So spice it up,” he said.

These weren’t your run of the mill bath bombs either. Each had a surprise inside, in the form of a special eraser.

“If you have a stressed-out day and just want to relax, just take a bath, put a bath bomb in, and chillax!” Vercekaites explained in his sales pitch.

The leadership market, now in its fifth year, sees each student bring seven to 10 handmade items for sale with all but their posters done on their own time at home. Teachers help them arrive at a reasonable price for their goods.

“We always do a vote on where the money goes,” said student Lane Campbell. “This year it is going to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation because last year we lost a student to cancer. And to our field trip to the Legislature in Edmonton later this year.”

Last year he made beaded animal keychains. Since he had supplies left over, the Grade 6 student stepped up his game this year with more intricate versions for sale at $3 apiece. The keychains – shaped like butterflies, lizards, fish and dragonflies – each took Campbell anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours to make.

Teacher Lori Helland said shoppers this year included schoolmates, students from County Central High School, family and other community members. Many commented on the wide variety of goods for sale, ranging from cupcakes, to stress balls and wizard wands.

Zoe Posien was selling fairy gardens at $10 apiece, after offering stationary jars and candle jars last year.

“I really thought it was a creative idea,” said the Grade 6 student. “They’re colourful and I thought little kids might like them more.”

Almost all of the students’ goods sold out with more than $1,500 raised for the two causes. The donation to Kids Cancer Care will help Mitch Malmberg’s legacy live on, said Helland, while the students were also able to cover some of the cost of the May field trip to Edmonton on their own.

In addition to fundraising, the leadership component of the event comes in the students taking the responsibility to create goods for sale, and representing Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School in a respectful manner to visitors, she said.

The Grade 5-6 students also took on the task of getting local businesses to put up their posters promoting the market. The event provided another opportunity for community engagement, said Helland, which is always important.

“It was a really great opportunity to have the community come into our school and witness some of the great things we have going on here, and how the kids are benefitting from just the math skills alone in making change at their stations,” she said.