In 2005, Melony Denham and Annette Walters were part of the first class of coaches to go through the Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute, an 18-month Fellowship started by the University of Kentucky. The KECI initiative had an entrepreneurial focus on coaching adults that were interested in starting or expanding a business.
This experience was life changing, and through it, Melony & Annette realized the huge impact it would make if children could grow up with an understanding of entrepreneurship. Having an entrepreneurial mindset would benefit students throughout their lives, whether they started their own business or worked for someone else.
And even better, they discovered students did not have to be high achievers in the classroom in order to succeed with entrepreneurship.
This might be a way to reach those who don’t respond well to traditional classroom material, while creating a fun curriculum for the whole class.
Meanwhile, Ann DeSpain, a sixth grade teacher, was introducing entrepreneurship to her class. She asked Melony and Annette if they would come in and teach what they had learned to her students.
As a result, a classroom curriculum was developed that uses entrepreneurship as a vehicle for learning across all subjects and eDiscovery was born. Students have made some awesome discoveries about themselves and their futures through this curriculum in the classroom as well as at summer camps.
Today, eDiscovery provides a 1-day training for elementary and middle school teachers to help them integrate this curriculum in their classrooms. We also provide a 1-week summer camp experience for high school students that has provided scholarships, leadership training and countless other skills through the lens of entrepreneurship, planning and pitching a business.
What are the results?
Children and teens who thought they weren’t good students are realizing that they have important skills that they can build on for future successes.
Those who hated math are discovering how much fun it is to predict and count their earnings as they plan and sell their products.
Those who struggled with language arts are learning that they have a gift when it comes to marketing their ideas.
Those who were shy and thought they could not stand in front of the class and pitch their ideas became fearless and found they had a gift for presenting.
About the trainers
Melony Denham continues her focus on K-12 entrepreneurship as the current Regional Coordinator for Kentucky and Tennessee for America’s Entrepreneurial Schools for EntreEd - The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. EntreEd is a national organization that advocates for entrepreneurship education at all levels. The America’s Entrepreneurial Schools designation is a recognition for outstanding schools that deliver entrepreneurship education to every student in the building in a single year.
Ann DeSpain has taught in public school for 30 years and parochial school for 10 years, and is responsible for eDiscovery becoming a classroom initiative! She loves helping students learn and has been a trainer with eDiscovery for 10 years. Ann believes it is important for students to understand the financial aspect of business and she believes counting change back to customers is an important skill for students to learn. Ann has an outstanding grasp of what it takes to engage students and help them be successful. She continues to keep the pulse of what is going on in the classroom by substituting on a weekly basis.
eDiscovery trainers all have an education or community development background and have worked with students and teachers for 10-40 years!