By Eve Pranis

The budding entrepreneurs in Carolyn West's special education class in New York City chose "The Green Team" as the name for their interior plant business. Using their newly acquired knowledge about caring for growing things, these seventh and ninth graders raise houseplants from cuttings in their GrowLab, then advertise and rent plants to individual teachers and administrative offices, maintaining each plant for 50 cents a week.

The students are completely responsible for learning about the plants' needs and caring for them, maintaining good client relationships, and billing. When one of the plants die, students withdraw money from the business bank account to replace it. Even so, they've managed to raise $100 a month. "The project has helped students learn a range of useful business, math, and other skills," reports Carolyn, "but perhaps the greatest gain is in their responsibility and social growth as they maintain relationships with clients."

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