By Dan Walton
New opportunities are arising for enterprising people in the valley, as local first graders and sixth graders teamed up to begin funding a local micro-credit project.
Funding will come from profits earned through calendar sales calendars which feature collaborative artwork
produced by Mrs. Gauthiers Grade 6 class at J.A. Laird Elementary and Ms. Frys Grade 1 class at Eileen Madson
The micro-credit project is called Buddies Building Beginnings, which will offer zero-per cent interest loan to deserving locals who do not qualify for financing through corporate lenders.
Its kind of like a small loan for people who cant get a loan from the bank, said Grade 6 student Joey Rogal. Its for people all over the Kootenays who need it to start their own business or need to pay for school.
Earlier in the school year, the students of Mrs. Gauthiers Grade 6 class were collectively tasked with a social studies project. With help from their Eileen Madson counterparts, students from both classes created
several works of arts using their fingers, hands and feet.
The Grade 6 students successfully applied to
principal Jill Jensen for a loan from J.A. Laird, which will be repaid with revenue from the calendars.
It helped us to learn leadership and be more in charge; helping out our little buddies, show them the different steps, Joey said.
The art work has been submitted, the supply cost has been covered, and the students are expecting the calendars to be ready before the beginning of December. They will be on sale for $12 at J.A. Laird, Eileen Madson Primary, as well as many participating businesses throughout the valley.
From an educational perspective, it all fits with our Grade 6 social studies curriculum, said Mrs. Gauthier. Students are to learn about leadership skills, take action in their community, and learn about local and global issues.
Profits from the calendar sale will start the Buddies Building Beginnings fund, which Mrs. Gauthier plans to continue growing.
We know its going to start small this year, but were hoping that each year my class can take it on, she said. If these guys have aspirations to start a business or go to school, hopefully there will be sufficient money in the account by the time theyre in Grade 12.
Once the program comes to fruition, applicants will first apply by making a written request to Mrs. Gauthiers
students. Any businesses that would like to carry the
calendars can make arrangements by phoning Mrs. Gauthier at J.A. Laird at 250-342-6232.