SNELLVILLE – A joint student entrepreneur venture between local schools and the city got a big boost in the form of a $250,000 award from Gwinnett County Public Schools.
“One of the primary purposes of this award is to recognize the behaviors we want exhibited in our schools and classrooms,” GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said in letter informing Brookwood High School officials of the award. “Therefore, the $250,000 awarded to the Brookwood Cluster Schools is to further the innovative and engaging practices you have been using to educate out students to the highest possible level.”
The Brookwood Cluster Schools’ Integrated Entrepreneurship program will now expand to the elementary and middle school levels and other facets of the program will be bolstered after the 2016 Innovation and Transformation Award was given to the cluster. Brookwood schools have offered the successful business experience-based education program in partnership with the city’s Office of Economic Development for a number of years.
"Success is rewarded. For the last five years the City of Snellville has partnered with local schools to create a workforce that meets the needs of a 22nd century business,” said city Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren. “The Brookwood Cluster has embraced the concept of entrepreneurship as a learn-by-doing pathway to meet the future."
The funds open the door for Brookwood Elementary School to further grow its student entrepreneur programs, the first of its kind for an elementary school in the county, program officials said.
“I am so thankful to GCPS for providing the Innovation Award,” said Cindy Quinlan, GCPS Entrepreneurship Program Specialist Work-Based Learning Coordinator. “Now, more than ever before, students need skills to create their own opportunities and to develop soft skills crucial for a successful future. We must continue to innovate in our classrooms to meet the demands in an ever changing world. With this funding, we will continue to go grow our entrepreneurship education programs within the Brookwood Cluster Schools."
Now, in the Brookwood Cluster, the following business experience-based education programs will be offered, allowing a student to engage in business throughout their school career:
Elementary School Level
Middle School Level
9th Grade Year
Focus: Building foundational knowledge
10th Grade Year
Focus: Launching a business
11th Grade Year
Focus: Operating a business
12th Grade Year