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First Entrepreneurship Program for Students with Learning Differences Offered at Chesapeake Bay Academy

Friday, July 10, 2015

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Upper school students at Chesapeake Bay Academy (CBA) will now have the opportunity to create and run their own business thanks to a grant provided by Hampton Roads Community Foundation.  MAKE CBA is a collaboration between Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads (JAGHR), 757 Makerspace, MakerMex (producer of 3D printers) and CBA.

MAKE CBA was born of a vision to spark the creative and innovative dimension of CBA students and to give them the skill sets and confidence to launch their own businesses.  Students will have the opportunity to be part of the exciting maker revolution while mastering the 6 C’s of a 21st Century Education: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Culture & Connectivity.  MAKE CBA will integrate components of Junior Achievement’s Company Program which provides students with the necessary skills to develop and start-up a business.  Local entrepreneurs will serve as mentors and offer guidance while business, financial and marketing plans are developed over the course of the year.  The culminating project will be the launch of a crowd-funded initiative utilizing Kickstarter with the ultimate goal being a sustainable business.

The MAKE CBA program marks the first school-year partnership for 757 Makerspace, a community workshop and proto-typing center located in Norfolk and the first installation of a 3D printer in an independent school for MakerMex, a local Norfolk-based company manufacturing and distributing printers across three continents.  While a makerspace can come with a hefty price tag, Chesapeake Bay Academy has collaborated with these strategic partners to build a program from very humble beginnings.  “The maker movement was founded by individuals who worked with recycled and other inexpensive, readily available materials to create something unique and entirely different,” remarked Beau Turner of the 757 Makerspace.  Chesapeake Bay Academy’s MAKE CBA will provide a cost-effective model that other schools can replicate.

With additional funding from Hampton Roads Community Foundation, the MAKE CBA program will begin this September.  “This is truly a perfect fit for our students,” commented Dr. Judy Jankowski, Head of School at Chesapeake Bay Academy.  “Many of our students have dyslexia or other language-based learning challenges.  These same students’ strengths lie in the visual-spatial realm.  MAKE CBA emphasizes the principles of multisensory teaching and learning our school is built on, allowing kids to get hands-on with the content and providing real-life applications that our students can effectively understand and implement.”

Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider.  Since its founding in 1950, the regional community foundation and its donors have provided more than $210 million in grants and scholarships to improve life in southeastern Virginia.

Chesapeake Bay Academy is the only independent school exclusively serving students with learning differences in the Hampton Roads region.  Since 1989, CBA has transformed the lives of thousands of children and their families by providing an environment that fosters students’ intellectual, social, creative, physical and ethical potentials.