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KC school teacher wins $6,000 grant to help with entrepreneurial class

Posted: 4:55 PM, Nov 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-01 17:55:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eight-year-old William Hathaway is getting creative in his young entrepreneurial spirits class, because in that space, being creative is a requirement.

“It's real-life entrepreneurship, real-life 21st-century skill application and we create businesses,” entrepreneurial teacher Rachel Foster said.

The class is in the title, it’s all about being an entrepreneur.

Foster recently won a $6,000 grant to create a Maker’s Space in her classroom at Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy, which is called Kansas City Studio 119.

"My vision has always been I want students to walk in and not feel like they're in a classroom," Foster said. "I want students to walk in and envision themselves in a space that they could be working in 15 to 20 years."

The grant was through Teach for America’s Shark Tank Teacher’s Competition.

Foster said this grant will allow her to create a strong curriculum, and technology tools to bring students’ ideas into realities.

She has a partnership with the Kansas City Startup Foundation, which helps her in touch with local entrepreneurs to speak with her students.

William said while students his age may not have much money to have their own business yet, it’s not too early to begin.

“When you're young, you don't really make that much money cause you don't have your own business yet, but if you start like a lemonade stand, chocolate sale, that's your first business,” he said.

It’s those lessons young William says are important to have when you’re older.

“Cause when you're older, you go to bigger and bigger businesses, and you started off with this one little lemonade stand,” he said.

For Foster, she says it allows students to work together and create a business.

“Getting to develop this program here at Lee A. Tolbert, it puts my students on the playing field of their neighbors all around Kansas City,” she said.

Foster said she hopes to incorporate a strong curriculum with this program so schools across the metro area will be able to have access to these kinds of opportunities.