Holmen Vikings

Assignment: Education - Spirit Chain Business

Holmen Special Education Students Start New Business

HOLMEN, Wis. - The buzz is in the air. Wrestling season has begun. And these Holmen High School students are helping to spread the love of the sport by selling spirit chains.

But theses special education students don't just sell the fancy key chains. They make them as part of the business their classroom has created.

These high school students are taught how to stock supplies, take personalized orders, make the key chains, and, of course, sell them in an effort to learn skills needed to be successful in a future job.

"The purpose of the business is to give students the opportunity to build job skills, get some vocational experience," said Brenda Swoboda, Holmen High School transition coordinator. "But then also make those social experience connections. So, we're also working with the entrepreneurship class at the high school to kind of build an inclusive business."


You see... the entrepreneurship class runs the school store. And this year, the school store was looking for local vendors with new products to sell.

"We're actually really excited because all of them have student names on them. Students activities on them. Student sports. Everything that involves with the high school," said Gabbi Fasnacht, Holmen High School store manager.

Gabbi not only runs the school store, she has also volunteered to work with the special education students for the past couple of years. She thinks the key chains will be a big seller.

"They are very popular," said Fasnacht. "You can see kids walking around with their key chains, hangin' out of their pockets, and in their hand as they're headed out to their car."

It's this kind of support from students and parents that is strengthening the relationship with the special education students while teaching them important job skills.

"I think it's definitely broken down barriers," said Swoboda. "We're lucky here at Holmen High School because I think we have one of the most understanding and excepting student bodies ever. But I think this has helped enhance what we already had."

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