MONTGOMERY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Barr-Reeve Community Schools is beginning the process of starting student-led business thanks to funding from the 3E Grant.

The Indiana Department of Education awarded $57 million across nearly 100 schools and community partners as a part of ‘Explore, Engage, and Experience’ funding.

The Southern Indiana Education Center was awarded $1.1 million, which will help a number of school districts that they partner with, including Barr-Reeve Community Schools.

“It has two different components that it’s focusing on. The primary component is expanding the career and technical education opportunities for students, credentialing for the students, work-way pathway exploration,” Andrea Huff, STEM and Career Academy Director for Barr-Reeve Community Schools, said.

Huff said the second piece will be to help students figure out what their potential dream job is, and what skills they need to help make that happen.

“We’re going to build that in k-10 so that kids know where they’re going and when they get there, they can sit there and say, ‘these are the things that interest me,’” Huff said.

She explained Barr-Reeve will work to identify skills and interest in the kindergarten through 10th grade age group to give students an umbrella of jobs that could be a possibility for them.

“We would like to see teachers get the vocabulary out with our kids as far as start to figure out interest and interest surveys and start to see those lessons come into our math classes, english classes, and social studies and science. It’s not just in a career class that we will be embedding that into our content across the district,” Huff said.

Another key part will be implementing student-run businesses for the juniors and seniors in the high school.

“We’re going to have our own corporation or student led business, entrepreneurship program and we’re going to call it ‘Viking Enterprises’. So now we’re trying to design four to five different career pathways with which we can work and run a major business within our high school,” Travis Madison, Superintendent for Barr-Reeve Community Schools, said.

He said this will give the students a chance to apply their skills to different areas and get a glimpse of what the job would actually look like.

“Even if they may not choose to go into that particular path, they’re still going to bring some skills to the table that they can utilize and hone while they’re here that are just going to help them later on regardless of what they decide to do,” Madison said.

Madison said they have tossed around the idea of a t-shirt shop, print shop, landscaping and marketing.

The goal is to have three student-led businesses started at the beginning of next school year.