Fourth graders at The Lamplighter School are both students and business owners. As part of the curriculum, they run Lamplighter Layers, a chicken-raising and egg-selling enterprise that donates its proceeds to charity.
The program was designed 46 years ago by Judge Robert Porter to teach students the importance of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. This year’s class sold over 3,500 eggs, raising $955 for UNICEF. The gift, which was presented earlier this month to Selwyn Rayzor and UNICEF fellow Hannah Wright, provides 40 days worth of clean water to 955 Nepali children.
Lamplighter Layers is structured much like any other business – a president, vice president, treasurer and historian are elected at the beginning of each school year. Students in leadership roles divvy up tasks among their classmates and host monthly meetings to discuss egg production, marketing tactics, and expenses. Everyone works together to care for the chickens and eggs are sold on Fridays during carpool pickup. Lamplighter staff say it’s fun, but it’s also educational.
“Several of the most valuable lessons involve cooperation, communication, respect, and accountability,” Lamplighter’s Assistant Head for Finance and Operations, Elise Murphy, says. “These are skills you need in life to be successful both professionally and personally.”