By Kyla Woods
Crowd or Camera Communications
MORTAR Partners with Cincinnati Public Schools and the University of Cincinnati as part of Vision 2020 Plan
Two Cincinnati Public Schools, Rothenberg Academy and Westwood Elementary, were chosen last year to focus on Student Enterprise within the district’s Vision 2020 Plan. As part of that plan, Cincinnati Public Schools partnered with MORTAR and the University of Cincinnati to develop a curriculum and applicable exercises for students in 5th and 6th grade.
The first culmination of their hard work will be on display during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend, January 14th and 15th from 11am-5pm each day. Students will be selling their “Dream Coasters”, which are hand-crafted pieces of art that feature their “dream” in the form of a coaster. We talked to the principals at both schools about the importance of this type of programming at the elementary level. Westwood Principal Christopher Grant emphasized the importance of understanding the process to becoming an entrepreneur, and how much work and effort is required for success. “The partnership with MORTAR and the University of Cincinnati gives students exposure to a blossoming entrepreneurial setting that is growing in our city, and provides the students with an opportunity to take ownership in the development of their neighborhood through enterprise initiatives.”
Ahead of their first venture into retail, Rothenberg Academy principal Amber Simpson had this to say about some of the most valuable lessons learned about entrepreneurship: “Students have been able to grow in their knowledge of the economy and meeting the growing and changing needs of consumers. They have also gained confidence in public speaking and working in cooperative groups.
100% of the money will go into a Dream Fund, which will help support additional student enterprise projects at these schools. Sets of the coasters will be on sale for $15. The Dream Coasters Pop Up Shop will take place this weekend inside of the MORTAR office located at 1329 Vine Street, in the heart of Over-The- Rhine.