A group of Barrington Elementary School students made a contribution in the fight against breast cancer last week, and picked up some real-world business experience in the process.

A group of Barrington Elementary School students made a contribution in the fight against breast cancer last week, and picked up some real-world business experience in the process.

For the past several weeks, Barrington fourth-graders have been crafting buckeye items to sell during the week before the OSU-Michigan game. Proceeds of the sale were used to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, according to the students’ teacher, Katie Benton.

The project, which tied into the students’ study of economics, culminated with a sale at the Ohio Union on the OSU campus on Nov. 21, Benton said.

“It was fantastic,” she said. “The kids were very excited, and they worked really hard for a little over two weeks or so. The whole project is an outstanding opportunity for students to learn about the curriculum in terms of economics and social studies, while at the same time helping with an important cause.”

As part of their project, the fourth-graders developed the products to sell, did their own production, quality assurance, pricing and advertising, Benton said.

The handmade items included buckeye necklaces, key chains, buckeye head warmers, headbands, hair ties and hair bows, OSU duct tape wallets, fleece scarves and hats, scarlet-and-grey knitted items, buckeye jars with candles, and miniature Christmas trees.

The students also partnered with the International Development Collaborative to sell handmade alpaca wool Block-O scarves, made by women in Bolivia, Benton said.

The project has been in operation for about 15 years, when fellow organizer and fourth-grade teacher Bonnie Emery was approached by a student asking what he could do with the buckeyes he’d collected, Benton said. The tradition caught on, and the project is made possible by a service learning grant.

“There were about 42 kids in both classes that worked together this year,” Benton said. “We just got our count in, and they’re going to be able to donate just about $3,000 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund.”

The children incorporated their musical studies into the sale as well, bringing along their recorders to the buckeye sale.

“It brought out quite an audience,” Benton said. “There were people on all three floors of the Ohio Union watching while the kids played “Hang on Sloopy” and “Carmen Ohio.” Some of the kids were able to work their way around for the sale, and they went to the oval, the Wexner Center and even President Gee’s office.”

The students finished up the project this week by presenting their donation check to a representative of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, and received a thank-you in person from Chris Spielman, the husband of the center’s namesake.

“The great part is the service learning component,” Benton said. “To have the kids learn so much in an authentic way, and to help others and better the community are great life lessons.”