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Comic Book Is Collaborative Effort of Charter School and ELSEWorks

by Web on August 18, 2016

Members of the E-Club at Midtown Public Charter School in Jackson developed their own product to sell – a comic book – and, in the process, learned valuable lessons about starting a business.

Faculty and staff from ELSEWorks, the entrepreneurship program of the Else School of Management at Millsaps College, led the fifth- and six-grade scholars in the E-Club (E for entrepreneurship), an after-school activity, during the spring 2016 semester. Ken Patterson, a graphic artist, also contributed to the club by serving as a creative consultant. 

In each E-Club meeting, the Midtown Public Charter School Scholars worked on the creation of their product, developed a part of their business, and met with one or more creative entrepreneurs from the Midtown neighborhood.  Guest entrepreneurs included Phillip Rollins of OffBeat, Roderick Red and Kevin Perez of Red Squared Productions, daniel Johnson, B.A. 2011, of TurnUp Studios, Adrienne Domnick of Adrienne Domnick Art, Raymond Horn of Mississippi Cold Drip Coffee, and Sandra Murchison of Purple Word Center for Book & Paper Arts.

The resulting glossy and colorful comic featuring the original super hero drone, Midbot, was celebrated during a party at OffBeat, a business in the Midtown neighborhood in Jackson that sells graphic novels, comics and records and showcases young minority artists.

“My colleagues, the ELSEWorks analysts, and I had a blast working with the Midtown Scholars and we felt like the class was a real success,” said Dr. Blakely Fox Fender, B.A. 1992, professor of economics at Millsaps.  “In addition to collaborating on such a neat project, the scholars learned some of the most fundamental lessons of starting a business, from budgeting to strategic marketing to projecting profits.  The icing on the cake, though, was that the creative entrepreneurs in Midtown generously donated their time to the project by meeting and consulting with the students.  The scholars gained real-world examples of business problems and solutions from the entrepreneurs and also walked away with a true sense of the exciting and vibrant community that is the Midtown neighborhood.”