Snipping it to help their school

OMS group helps students learn business skills as they raise funds

MEMBERS OF THE Just Snip It group at Ozaukee Middle School posed with some of the water bottles they personalized. The group is learning business skills, including marketing, accounting and creative design. Pictured (from left) are Natalia Marini, Savannah Quade, Alana Gaulke and Emily Luza.

DYLAN BUDZISZ (middle photo) is active in the Just Snip It club at Ozaukee Middle School, which is in its second year and has 10 members. Bottom photo, club members Reese Prom and Chloe Dybulx cut out attachable letters that will be used to personalize the water bottles. Photos by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Some students at Ozaukee Middle School in Fredonia are getting down to business in a very real sense.

The Just Snip It group started last year, personalizing T-shirts, water bottles, bags and other items for students and school groups. Sales proceeds support scholarships and help pay for school supplies, said the group’s advisor Lori Marini.

“We thought this would be a good thing because it gives the middle schoolers some idea of what it takes to go into business,” Marini said.

With about 10 seventh and eighth-grade students participating, the group is divided into teams that focus on logistics, finances, web design, social media, marketing and the creative design side of things.

“The plan is to just kind of help kids understand how to build a business,” Marini said.

The group grew from an idea proposed by Michele Kowalkowski, whose husband Steve is the Ozaukee High School baseball coach.

Kowalkowski is a digital marketer with Brady Corp. but said she does some of the same work on the side as the Just Snip It group does.

“I do some of that stuff on the side,” she said. “I saw it as a cool concept and something the kids could do. I passed it on to (Marini) about a year ago, and she just ran with it.”

Kowalkowski helps the group as a consultant.

“When they have a question, Lori will reach out to me,” she said. “They’re doing all the design work on their own. I think it’s great, learning all aspects of the business.”

Students are recruited at the beginning of the year through fliers and social media, Marini said. Group meetings are held once a week for 30 minutes.

“I will come up with ideas or the kids will,” Marini said.

 One of the group’s recent projects was to personalize costumes for the cast of “Grease,” the high school’s fall musical, by putting characters’ names on jackets and other clothes. They also personalize school spirit wear for students.

Money raised goes back to the district to purchase school supplies or other needed items. A scholarship fund also has been created for graduating students who plan to pursue degrees in business or entrepreneurship, Marini said.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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