Young inventors invited to pursue a career in business, earn cash

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville students are invited to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test for cash. It's part of a national program hosted by a new, local school.

In Louisville's Portland neighborhood, the environment at one school is more relaxed. Students make their own lunch. "Food is part of our curriculum at the schoolhouse. We encourage everyone to try new things everyday, whether they like it or don't," says Christina Poole, Founder and Director of City Schoolhouse.

The school inside the Portland Promise Center isn't like others. "This school is different because it's so many different ages in one classroom," says 11-year-old Abrielle Redd.

City Schoolhouse was founded in the fall of 2017. Families in the Portland neighborhood didn't want their kids going across town to school, and they didn't like the options close to home. "I had some experience running a preschool and kindergarten co-op and was planning to home school my own children and said, 'well we can get together and do this together,' and so we did," Poole said.

The school that started with nine students now has 42. Students waiting to get into the nursery and early childhood programs can eventually graduate from here.

One of the focuses is boundless education. "We rely heavily on our volunteers to make this possible. So, families are involved, whole families and thirdly, we're close to home. We want everybody to be able to walk to school," Poole said. 

The small, private school was selected to be part of a national children's business fair.

"Those are the things that I want to do mainly when I grow up is be a Lego builder or a magician," says 10-year-old Judah Miller. 

Students here have come up with their own invention.

"I have a Polaroid camera at home. So, I'm going to be taking pictures and selling them with the camera frames," Redd said.

"These are my salts. This is lavender, like the purple lavender," says 7-year-old Ella Poole.

City Schoolhouse is hosting other Louisville schools, inviting all creators like Miller who's selling magic trick subscriptions online. "First website ever," Miller said.

"We're teaching them about entrepreneurship, how can you make a product or build a service and sell it to others, how can you create and generate your own success," Christina Poole said.

The winners will be given a loan to help with start up costs. "When we started working in the neighborhood, we found really quickly that the students in the neighborhood don't have the same opportunities to get into the marketplace, even a small marketplace," Poole said.

Scholarships could go toward a real business. "You need to get good at this skill because you're going to need it a lot more," Miller said.

"Their skill set that they're gaining from this opportunity is far beyond just a fun day," Poole said.

It's helping to set them up for a successful future.

Inventors have to be between the ages of 5 and 18. Registration closes April 22. Click here to apply.

The Children's Business Fair is Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Portland Museum located at 2308 Portland Avenue in Louisville. The fair is free and open to the public.

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