During the week of February 4-10th, the SIFE team from EWU assisted school children in the 5th-8th grades in gaining an understanding of how business works. This focus was part of SIFE’s National Teach A Child About Business Week, an event sponsored by Discover Financial Services, Inc. It was developed by SIFE as a special competition. Teach A Child About Business Week encouraged college SIFE Teams to develop a project or projects for children in grades K-8 that would broaden their comprehension of the Free Enterprise system.
Teaching children about responsible consumerism, what professional opportunities exist, and how business impacts our daily lives, is crucial to understanding the business environment. EWU’s SIFE Team felt that 5th-8th grade students should be taught these important lessons. Areas covered by EWU’s SIFE Team included fundamental business terms and concepts, how a business operates, responsible consumerism, and how business impacts our daily lives.
These topics were covered in a 45-60 minute presentation. SIFE members gave a pre-test and a post-test to the students. The children participated in brain storming activities regarding what they feel is needed to run a business successfully. An EWU SIFE Team example business was used in class in order for the students to better understand the concepts being introduced. EWU SIFE then gave the teachers of the classrooms a chance to do a follow up lesson. Each individual class was given the opportunity to put together a poster presenting a business example of their own. Each poster was then entered into EWU SIFE’s New Business Ideas Contest. All posters were judged on February 10, the last day of Teach A Child About Business Week.
SIFE was founded in 1975 in Texas as a regional project created by the National Leadership Institute. It provides college students many opportunities. Among them, SIFE members learn how to effectively work as a team in a business environment. SIFE members learn leadership, teamwork, and communication skills by practicing the principles of the Free Enterprise system.
Once you become a member of SIFE and acquire 50 hours through participation and general duties as a member, you become eligible to be a SIFE scholar. When you become a SIFE scholar, you are listed in a database that corporations access for their job employment opportunities. Once you are a SIFE scholar, you are one for life. You can always access the database and keep your resume current as well as seek rewarding professional opportunities within the Business world.
Businesses play a crucial role in every society. In industrialized societies, knowing how to function in a business environment can open up avenues into that career you most desire; or, you can use the knowledge acquired about business and the contacts you make in SIFE to become an entrepreneur.
SIFE is active on 900 college campuses in 20 countries. SIFE is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with businesses and higher education to help students apply classroom fundamentals to real world situations in the marketplace. SIFE participates in competitions with other SIFE members from other colleges yearly. EWU SIFE members have participated in three yearly national competitions. This year’s competition will be in Kansas City, Missouri. The SIFE program here at EWU has grown from 15 members in 1999 to 80 members last year. Professor Leo Simpson and Larry Sullivan oversee the program. Students may find the environment of SIFE is not unlike a corporation in structure. The current President of EWU SIFE’s Team is Danica Ducrest. SIFE is an organization that every college student should be interested in joining.
For more information about EWU SIFE, and Teach A Child About Business Week, contact Leo Simpson [Sam Walton Fellow] at (509) 358-2254, or the Chairperson of Teach A Child About Business Week, Stephanie Dahlstedt, at (509) 325-7744 or 230-5907.
You can find out more about SIFE on the Internet at: http://www.sife.org.