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Grade 1: Launching Businesses With Help from Middle School Graphic Designers

This spring, our first-grade students embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure in their social studies class, learning the ins and outs of opening and sustaining a business. Inspired by the survey information they personally gathered from local businesses and consumers in Cherry Creek North, the first-grade entrepreneurs established a toy shop, a bakery for pets and humans, a food hall, and a bookstore in each of their homeroom classes.
Throughout the project, the first graders gained invaluable insights into the various aspects of running a business, such as time management, resource allocation, funding, and teamwork. They also explored the different roles within the economic market, including producers, consumers, and investors, while emphasizing the importance of understanding community needs and preferences.

This year, an exciting new element was added to the Grade 1 business project: a collaboration with Middle School graphic design students. Seventh and eighth-grade students from Mrs. Andrea Cranes' graphic design class met with the first graders to create marketing collateral and branding, specifically logos, for their budding businesses.

During the initial meeting, the Middle Schoolers, acting as professional designers, came prepared with an agenda and asked their young clients about their business names, preferred colors, fonts, images, and any additional materials they might need, such as invitations, flyers, and name tags. Over several meetings, the designers worked closely with the first graders to finalize their logo designs.

Grade 8 student James Williams shared his enthusiasm for the project, noting that his favorite part was forming a bond with the first graders and being a part of their businesses. He mentioned that the activity provided the Middle Schoolers with real-world experience, requiring them to meet deadlines and work with clients.
For the first graders, working with the "big kids" was a highlight of the project. They enjoyed sharing their favorite colors and images and were thrilled to see the final logo designs. As a culminating event, the first graders proudly displayed their logos at the grand opening of their businesses, attended by teachers, family, and friends.

This collaborative project not only taught our first-grade entrepreneurs the fundamentals of starting and marketing a business but also fostered meaningful connections between Middle School and Lower School students. Way to go, Eagles! 


Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.