Cool at School: Cougarville Teaches Students Business Savvy - 8 News NOW

Cool at School: Cougarville Teaches Students Business Savvy

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LAS VEGAS - Sixth grader Jerrett Overland is a small business owner. He is a capitalist, who runs "The Chicken Stop" – a fictional business he pits against other fictional businesses at Cornerstone Christian Academy's Cougarville.

The operation provides kids real-world learning experience. Cougarville is a 13-year tradition that operates every quarter.

"(I learn) how to do business, deposit checks, write checks," Jerrett said. "I put this in an envelope and give it to the teachers, so I can put it into a bank account."

Every student at Cornerstone in third grade or higher gets a bank account. They earn points, akin to money, based on their performance in the classroom. The students learn how to save and how to spend smartly. Students in 5th grade or higher learn how to create a business.

Cougarville is the idea of Cornerstone Christian Academy Dean Nola Raffail.

"The older kids get to own a business. They get to develop a plan, and the younger kids get to spend their money," she said. "They get to budget their money, because they only get a certain amount."

Eighth grader Jacob Surtain is an observant consumer this time. "I decided I'd go around and see what other business were. I'm a big believer what Orville Redenbacher said, 'Do one thing and do it well,'" he said.

Fifth grader Ethan Bentz is trying that route. His business is the X-Box 123.

"I thought it was going to be a really good attraction," he said. "It feels really good, ‘cause you get all the money and everything, and then you get to spend the money at the next Cougarville."

Ethan is competing against a bustling Plinko business and a balloon stomping start-up.

"A lot of kids will spend their money on games and then they have nothing left for food. So, we try to get them to eat first." Raffail said.

That probably explains why Jerrett's Chicken Stop never stopped. He sold out of chicken with a few minutes left at Cougarville - a perfectly executed business plan.

8 News NOW is looking for other great stories for its Cool at School series. If you have a story you wish to share, visit our website or email us.

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