Entrepreneurial Students Visit American Reading Company for Business Building Insight

Memphis Street Academy’s Eighth Grade students took a short bus ride from their Philadelphia charter school to King of Prussia to visit American Reading Company (ARC). There, the students were able to see every part of how the business runs- from the CEO, President, to the Warehouse, Finance and IT department, the Graphic Design Team, the employee daycares, and even the various employee’s dogs. Jesse Hileman, the ARC account manager for Philadelphia, invited Memphis Street to visit their headquarters when he learned about the group’s current project – creating apps for their own business.

“These tours give me awesome knowledge and better understanding about business” said student Hoang. “The tour explained that business is not just one step but it takes multiple steps and requires cooperation. With Mr. Hileman and his co-workers explaining about their field showed me how important [the business skills class] is and how it applies to reality. Now I feel more confident about my business app and know what is best for my app.”

“The whole bus ride home, they were discussing the different jobs they had seen and how the skills for success in those jobs related to both the businesses they are creating for the class and to careers they hope to have in real life.” shared Costello.

“American Reading Company being an entrepreneurial business gave me a deeper look into what it takes to start out a business and how big of a company it can grow into,” said student Mercedes.

Part of the visit included a tour of the 6-acre warehouse of 10 million books that are part of the independent reading system that Memphis Street Academy uses. One student described it as “Paradise in my eyes.” Here they learned about the summer employment opportunities for teens.

Each summer, ARC collaborates with various community groups to employ local high school and college students and provide them coaching to build both workplace and academic skills. While these students do all kinds of jobs from warehouse work to graphic design to finance data, there is one part of their workday that is a non-negotiable: 15 minutes of reading. Students read and review books at all levels and on a variety of topics, voting on the books they believe should and should not be included in ARC’s classroom libraries.

“I hope I will have a chance to work along-side with you guys after I get my working papers!” voiced Emily Lora-Vargas.

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