East Ascension High School teachers received $17,800 in grant funding through the Marketing Education Retail Alliance.

Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Marketing Education classes were awarded a $8,500, Alicia William’s accounting class received $4,600 and Renni Diez’s marketing class earned a $4,700 grant from MERA, teacher Monica Caillouet said.

Most of the money was used to send the classes to the DECA Career Development Conference and other funds were used to purchase a projector and lease a copy machine.

MERA was created in 2000 and is administered by the Louisiana Retailers Association. MERA grants are funded through the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

“This grant allowed students the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that they have acquired in the marketing classroom at the DECA Career Development Conference,” Caillouet said.

At the conference, the EA students competed with students from across the state in areas such as management team decision making, apparel and accessories, sports and entertainment marketing, and various marketing–related fields, she said.

The MERA grant provided materials and equipment for students to improve in customer service marketing activities. Students worked with marketing simulations that improved their abilities to provide better customer service, product knowledge, and follow-up procedures, she said.

The students then applied what they learned in role-play work scenarios that carried over into real-life experiences in their workplaces, she said. They maintained customer service portfolios that included details and tips in handling customers and their orders, store merchandise and store procedures.

The students operate a gift basket company throughout the year called A Basket Case.

“This grant has allowed us ensure that the students at East Ascension High School to meet the demands of business and industry,” she said.

Upon completion of the training, the students took the National Customer Service Examination.

“Students leave the class with an industry-developed credential that demonstrates their potential to future employers,” she said.