Franklin Elementary students enter the Shark Tank

Franklin Elementary students enter the Shark Tank

Each year parents involved with the APPLE program at Franklin Elementary try to offer students something different and unique.

APPLE stands for Alternative Parent Participation Learning Experience.

This year for APPLE University, students had the opportunity to learn about a variety of professions from firefighting, medicine, and some were even thrown into the Shark Tank.

Marketing, branding, coming up with a business plan. Sounds like the fundamentals for a project in a college business course. In this case, 4th, 5th and 6th graders.

As part of this years APPLE University, APPLE parent, Patrick Ream, came up with the Shark Tank concept, based on the ABC television show that has entrepreneurs pitching their businesses to a panel of wealthy investors.

“I was trying to think, well, what’s relevant to them?” Ream said.

Students were divided into three teams. Each having to create a salsa, figure out how they were going to take it to market, then pitch their product to the “sharks.”

“There’s so many aspects of small business that make the economy flourish and we need to foster a sense of entrepreneurship and community in these kids young,” Ream said.

Franklin Elementary School Teacher, Tania Olson, said it only adds to the students growth. She said there’s only so much of her own talents she can bring to the table.

“So bringing the wealth of the whole parents group in the program and having that diversity of ideas and interests and talents makes for all the better for the kids,” said Olson

Olson is both an APPLE teacher and parent. She’s seen the benefits of the program in her own children.

“I can see the effects of being able to public speak, working with other adults, working with other kids,” said Olson

“Really that’s what Apple U is all about,” said Ream.

The ultimate winners of the Shark Tank battle was the group, Cinco Sol Salsa. Emerey, who was part of team Cinco Sol Salsa, said the salsa recipe used was passed down from generations in her family.

“It was exciting but nervous at the same time. I am excited to go home to my dad and show him our trophy,” Emerey said.

“If they understand some of those key fundamentals to what makes a business run, it’s less scary for them and they’ve done it and succeeded or failed at a young age and they know that can do it again,” Raem said.