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Students 'mustache' for help

February 7, 2013
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

AMS students will be fueling up thanks to a grant and a new business formed at the school by students. The goal of the business is to provide healthy snacks outside the usual lunch time to keep kids fueled up.

The program began last spring when the school received a $4,000 grant to provide Freddie's Fuel Up and Go Cart. The cart is intended to offer snacks during resource hours and study halls to prevent short spurts of hunger before lunch time.

"Growing kids are hungry and thirsty all the time and studies have shown that being hungry and thirsty can lead to lack of focus, feeling sleepy, mischievous behavior and decreased energy to exercise," said Austintown School's Food Service Director Tascin Brooks. "The grant was written to offer students a healthy snack during resource periods throughout the day."

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Members of the new Falcon Business Academy at AMS include, in front: Madison Keaton, Abbey Loew, and Amber Sierra. In back are Ross Bailey, Andrew Stehura, Kole Klasic, and Tanner Mackell. They are all wearing milk mustaches as part of their new business plan to bring a snack cart to the school.

She said the cart would offer fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, milk and water. Those who purchased milk would be given a ticket to be entered into a drawing for additional exercise time with Microsoft Xbox Kinect sports on Fridays.

The grant was issued through the Dairy Council, but it came with some requirements. To receive the grant, the cart had to be student led and be sustainable on its own.

Students formed a company called the Falcon Business Academy. It consisted of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders each playing a needed role. The sixth grade serves as secretaries and handle the minutes of the board meetings. Seventh-graders serve as treasurers and keep the financial books. The task of CEO of the business would fall to the eighth grade.

Brooks said the program went further when sixth-grade social studies teacher Michelle Porter was brought into the project. Porter said she has wanted to see Junior Achievement brought into AMS.

"For the JA program, we have 420 students involved," she said. The materials are $2,500 and profits from this cart will help me fund the program."

She said 16 volunteers will be brought in from the community to help teach the course she calls Global Academy. The program is set to take place in May.

To get profits from the cart, the kids have to get it up and running. To do so meant finding a way to get start-up funds to purchase the food and drinks. The students are working on it by selling milk mustaches at lunch periods. Students can buy the milk mustaches for 50 cents, then have their photo taken wearing one. The mustache stickers were provided by the Dairy Council. The photos are then run during lunch periods on the school media system.

"The Falcon Business Academy members are very excited to get this under way," Brooks said. "We hope to launch this cart on Feb. 11."

The mustache income will be used to buy the initial inventory for the cart. After that, the cart should fund itself and begin making the profits to run a JA program. Brooks said at the end of the school year, a portion of the proceeds will be set aside to stock the cart for the coming school year. Anything over the needed amount will go towards the JA program.

While the business end is set and running, it is the students who will benefit the most. They will have that extra energy kick to help them perform better in class and not end up energy-deprived during the school day.



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