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Courtesy photo of students in the Making Money class at Beach Middle School.

Courtesy photo from Making Money class at Beach Middle School.

By Lisa Carolin

You may think a course that covers personal finance, the stock market, and both business and economic concepts would be for college students and beyond, but it’s also being offered at Beach Middle School under the name Making Money.

The Making Money class uses the Junior Achievement Finance program, which uses a workbook covering such personal finance concepts as taxes, credit, and budgets.

“The capstone for the Junior Achievement Finance program is a simulated one-day budget experience where students must balance a budget for a family given a set income and needs,” said Loren Thorburn, who teaches Making Money and also teaches eighth-grade math and algebra.

“Students fundraise to pay for the Junior Achievement Finance Program, which includes the workbook and field trip to Detroit for the budget simulation,” he said.

Thorburn says the class has received grants from Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan as well as the Chelsea Education Foundation over the years.

He says they have a Making Money fundraiser to help offset individual costs of the class, which include a $35 workbook and a field trip for the budget simulation.

“Students are asked to create a business plan for the food item they are selling,” said Thorburn. “In the plan, students must indicate the cost of the item, markup, and predicted amount of items to sell, and their expected profit. Also, Making Money students must have their food item meet the guidelines of a healthy snack and make change for their customers. It is quite the sight every trimester during the selling days to see their excitement when they sell. The whole school gets involved.”

Beach Principal Nick Angel says the Making Money class is popular for a good reason.

“This course provides real world applications and allows students to create a business plan and execute it at our sales event,” said Angel. “I believe financial literacy should be a mandatory course for all students in the State of Michigan.”

This is the 11th year Beach has offered the Making Money class, which averages between 18 to 24 students per trimester.

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