With all their chips in, they gamble on a business together

Twenty-five third-graders at St. Matthew’s Episcopal School in Houma, Louisiana (about an hour west of New Orleans), are going in on a salty business proposition.

Cheap Chips started when students noted that the school’s snack vendor didn’t offer potato chips. With a little seed money from their local bank, they obtained some product and quickly experienced sales that exceeded expectations. Now they’re making their next decision – what to do with the profit.

That’s all great. But what keeps this from being just another cute story about the pluck of a gaggle of third-graders?

“It was easy, but some parts were hard,” [nine-year-old entrepreneur Gaven] Guidry said.

Everyone wanted to be in charge. How did they figure it out? “By helping each other,” he said.

We suspect that if this virtue is so readily apparent in one Episcopal school, perhaps it’s more widespread than you think.

When you tell your neighbor you’re an Episcopalian these days (if the subject ever comes up, which it does here in the Midwest with regularity), do you find yourself spending more time disentangling people’s stereotypes about infighting Anglicans than you do talking about what’s real and good and of God at your congregation and your denomination?

Take a cue from these third-graders. Not everyone can emerge the victor; indeed, such is far from being the point of the exercise. “Helping each other” soothes the urge to be in charge.

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