SELLERSBURG — Owning a piece of Southern Indiana's most recognizable businesses is as simple as passing go on a classic board game.

Silver Creek High School's Academy of Finance class has worked for the last two years putting its game, "Kentuckianaopoly" together. It plays just like "Monopoly," but the business students included local businesses from both sides of the river by selling spaces to them. The proceeds from the game's sales will go toward local charities and scholarships.

Jennifer Glaser, Academy of Finance instructor, said students got a taste of what it's like to put a product together from the ground up.

"We thought it would be a good way for students to get out in the community and network," Glaser said. "The learning process was learning to network, market a product and appreciate the entrepreneurs behind the businesses right here in our community."

The businesses selected were each at least 25 years old, some approaching 100 years old.

She said students had to go to businesses, find out the appropriate contact for marketing initiatives like this and set up an appointment for a meeting. She said students had to present the concept and dress professionally.

Tony Raley, vice president of business services for L&N Credit Union, said he was sold on the idea from the time a student approached him about buying a space on the board about a year and a half ago.

"What I liked was the leadership they got in putting this project together," Raley said. "They asked what we do and about buying a space on the board without being intrusive. They were very professional about it."

He said he felt involved in the process as the game progressed, seeing proofs of the board, making adjustments to the space they purchased and getting a good experience to the students.

Jacob Atkins, a senior in the class, said he's been helping with the project all year long. He said he helped build in the QR codes on the board, which when scanned with a smartphone, take the user to the company's website for history on the business.

"We really wanted people to enjoy the game, but also get the connection to those businesses through the QR codes," Atkins said. "With those, they get more accedes to the companies, their histories and more."

Glaser said the point of her class is to give students an idea of whether they're interested in pursuing a business degree in college, but the game gave them even more than that.

"It can take you lots of places," Glaser said. "Maybe those contacts will be future prospects for employment. A lot of good things can come from something like this. IT’s something real, it’s not like just answering questions from a textbook."

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I'm the education reporter for the News and Tribune, covering four public school districts, private and charter schools, local universities and education programs in Clark and Floyd counties. Send story ideas my way!

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