Last year, over 40,000 K-12 students in 7 states, 23 counties, and 28 school systems were introduced to entrepreneurship education through EntreEd’s America’s Entrepreneurial Schools Program. Most recently, the initiative expanded to include two additional distressed Eastern Kentucky counties: Letcher and Harlan. Each school district participated in one of EntreEd’s professional development sessions during July 2018, and implemented entrepreneurial activities within the first two months of the 2018-2019 school year.

Letcher Middle School and Arlie Boggs Elementary of Letcher County Schools completed their entrepreneurial activities in early October. Letcher Middle School introduced entrepreneurship into homeroom lessons to reach every student, and will host an entrepreneurial fair this week where students will be tasked with solving a problem and providing a service/product for their local community. Arlie Boggs Elementary introduced entrepreneurship in every grade level, with students participating in activities around assembly lines, cost management, prototyping and testing, pitching a product, and more.

Evarts Elementary School in Harlan County, Kentucky earned their America’s Entrepreneurial School designation during their first week of the school year. The school created an online platform with entrepreneurship resources and lessons. Students participated in a variety of activities, from engaging in creative problem solving to pitching ideas to school administrators in a “Shark Tank” activity. Said Rachel Huff, librarian and entrepreneurship lead, “Lessons have been a lot of fun and motivational too!”

In 2016, EntreEd received a $2.2 million dollar Appalachian Regional Commission POWER (with matching support from the Benedum Foundation) grant to bring the America’s Entrepreneurial Schools initiative to students in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia. In partnership with local community colleges, this initiative educates the next generation of Appalachia’s workforce to create their own businesses to revitalize the local economy and transform distressed communities with long-standing impact. The project is known as America’s Entrepreneurial Schools and Colleges (AESC). In partnership with The EdVenture Group, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, and the National Center for Resource Development, the initiative is building a K-14 entrepreneurship pipeline and supporting the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems in some of the nation’s most rural communities. Partnering colleges include: Hocking College (OH), Southeast KY CTC, Big Sandy CTC (KY), Hazard CTC (KY), Southern WV CTC, Mountain Empire CC (WV), BridgeValley CTC (WV), and New River CC (WV).

America’s Entrepreneurial Schools commits schools to provide entrepreneurial education to every student within their building during every year. Each K-12 school that completes this goal receives designation as one of America’s Entrepreneurial Schools and is awarded and recognized for their achievements. EntreEd provides extensive resources and support for America’s Entrepreneurial Schools. Interested schools who commit to an AES initiative receive: 1) personalized support from an assigned regional coordinator, 2) complimentary introductory professional development for every teacher in the building on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and integration of entrepreneurship education into the classroom, 3) access to virtual, sustained professional development through EntreEd’s website, 4) discounts to the annual EntreEd Forum, 5) exclusive access to online resource’s through EntreEd’s lesson repository, 6) recognition during National Entrepreneurship Week, and 7) first access to annual Master Teacher training to grow entrepreneurial initiatives.

Interested in becoming one of America’s Entrepreneurial Schools? Contact Dr. Gene Coulson, Executive Director, today at gcoulson@entre-ed.org.

 

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