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Field trips to local businesses score an A+ with kids.

By P. Kelly Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Field trips aren't just a fun way for kids to escape theclassroom anymore-they're also an innovative way to help buildbusiness. Marketing expert Susan Singer's field trip programbenefits kids as well as her corporate clients. Singer, 48, foundedher Chicago-based education marketing firm, CPG Field Trips FactoryInc., in 1992. Looking for a way to boost profits four years later,she hit on the idea of offering field trips to her clients'businesses. Instead of a trip to a zoo or a dinosaur museum,children between ages 5 and 12 visit grocery stores, hospitals,auto dealers, banks and retailers. With the cooperation of many ofSinger's business clients, children learn important life skillsin the areas of nutrition, health care, safety, financialmanagement and consumer education.

The program benefits the businesses that provide the tours aswell. "We've had tremendous success in almost everyindustry," Singer says. "Kids learn incredible things [onfield trips]. And they really retain [the information]: Ourresearch shows they'll be loyal to the companies sponsoring the[trips]."

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