Virtual business program at IS 259


Some middle school students are looking to hone their business skills while using the best the 21st century has to offer.

From the outside, room 329 to IS 259 ​​looks like your typical classroom.

Come in and the eighth grade students run a virtual business, with five departments and 31 students.

They sell bags inspired by the ones many students across the country are forced to use as a result of mass shootings, but these bags are a little different.

“We saw everywhere on social media how students complained about transparent bags and the lack of their own privacy,” says student Sara Vranici.

Their solution is an optional fabric liner. So when students are not in school and they don’t want their belongings to be visible to strangers, they will have privacy.

While the items aren’t for sale, it’s all part of the class, thanks to a nonprofit called Virtual Enterprises International. The program helps high school and college students learn real-world skills, preparing them for the business world.

“And the goal of this program is to give them full ownership and management of the business from head to toe,” says teacher Joanna Gillen.

Gillen says it showed him how much teenagers are capable of.

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