Wisconsin students learning skills by running a business

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ONALASKA, Wis. (AP) -- Special education students in western Wisconsin are running a small business and learning communication, budget and inventory skills.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that Onalaska High School transition coordinator Shelby Buchanan founded Ona Spirit in 2012.

The business started creating spirit chains: personalized key chains made from letter beads, colored beads and cord. Now it also sells coffee and fresh greens grown from a classroom greenhouse.

Students typically receive between four to 20 orders for spirit chains daily, with sales picking up around Christmas. The school group also sells items at the Parks and Recreation office and a handful of local businesses.

Students fill, package and label items daily. Items are delivered once a week. One student is also in charge of being the business's accountant, tracking sales through spreadsheets.

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