Connecting Commerce and Community

I am Steph Vervaart the office administrator at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.  I wanted to talk about the Project called Growing the Economy with Raspberry Pi that we got to be a part of in 2017.


I was approached by Todd Hausman, one of the teachers at Bay View Elementary, about coming to the school and talking with the kids about economic development and the Chamber of Commerce.  I was told the kids were learning how to build a website.  They would learn to code and be able to present the website to us after they were done.

Of course, we were ecstatic to help out.  I for two reasons was jumping at the opportunity.  One is because my daughter was one of the kids in the 5th-grade class doing this project and two I’d love to talk to our future web developers, store owners, CEO’s in Skagit County.

We went to each classroom two different times.  The first time we talked to the kids about what the chamber does and how it not only helps businesses in the community, but also the well-being of the City as a whole.  We taught them about how the tax dollars work and how it comes back to the community and that is what helps keep our streets and parks nice.  We expressed how important it is to shop locally.  We explained how we help educate businesses in our legislation by being the voice of the business community when laws are being passed. 



 The kids were full of questions about the economy and have tons of questions about what other stores we would be bringing into Burlington.  The kids were so lively and engaged.  It was definitely an amazing experience to be able to fill these young kids with the importance of Economic Growth.

The second visit we got to do was to see the built websites using our local chamber members.    Each child was smiling ear to ear to show off their website to us.  They all talked about how they built the website and how they got the content and picture loaded on their pages.  This is a project I would definitely recommend kids to take part in.  It’s amazing what these young brains can absorb and it’s a great time to fill them up with great knowledge that they truly can use going forward in their lives.

 Steph Vervaart

Office Administrator

Burlington Chamber of Commerce

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