Students Learned Important Lessons

Too many West Virginians graduate from high school without understanding how the economy works and how to manage personal finances. But thanks to an innovative program at Madison School in Wheeling, some youngsters got an education in those subjects.

As we reported this week, teacher Rosemary Anderson, now retired, came up with the idea. Working with local stock broker Ken Baber, it was put into practice.

Under Anderson’s guidance, Madison students set up a store at the school, selling supplies needed in classrooms. Stock was sold to capitalize the enterprise. A grant was obtained to purchase a cash register.

Students earned 25 cents a day for spending their out-of-class time working at the store. They learned every aspect of how a business is run.

Opened for business in 1987, the store – unfortunately – closed three years ago. Anderson is in the process of notifying the 88 adults who purchased stock that they have made profits. Each share, sold for $1 in 1987, now is worth $10.

Many of those who managed and staffed the store in its early years already have graduated from high school and perhaps college.

No doubt what they learned through the business has served them well.

Anderson, Baber and others who established and managed the program for many years deserve commendation for their efforts.

Anyone who has worked with such an initiative understands it is challenging work – but rewarding in the extreme. In this case, many local elementary school students benefited from lessons that, sad to say, some adults never learn.

Again, projects such as the Madison store are difficult and time-consuming. Still, other educators should consider copying the idea.