The Oley Valley School Board honored 11 elementary students for their work on an in-school business project at the Feb. 17 meeting.

For the project, the Oley Valley Elementary students operated 'Elementary Express,' learningˆ  how to run a business and have fun, while gaining fundamental learning from the project.

But learning how to operate a business efficiently and effectively is something even the most seasoned business executive can have troubles with, so how was a group of fifth-graders able to do it with such ease?

Dawn Ponce, gifted program teacher at OVES, said the program teaches them business and the other aspects associated with in-class learning, such as math, writing and communication.

'I'll say to a student, you just came from math class, so you should know how to solve this problem,' said Ponce.

Her students ran a business, which raises funds through selling balloons, stuffed animals and school sets, and with the help of the Berks Career & Technology Center, they fill the children's floral arrangement orders.

Parents decide what they want from the business, then 'Elementary Express' students deliver the products to the student whose parent ordered it.

Not only do the students sell items, they are active in the running of the business.

The students have to set the price of the items, buy and trade stocks and delegate responsibility of the company.

Ponce said she conceived the idea for 'Elementary Express' after hearing a co-worker talk about a similar concept, which was put into practice at Govern Mifflin several years ago.

'It's a lot of real world relevant experience,' she said.

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