BY Ann Nelson
West Tisbury School
The West Tisbury School would like to start a “”Student Store”” for students to both purchase and sell school related materials. Our students will gain and be able to practice their Math skills by selling and purchasing items such as pencils, erasers and notebooks. Our goals for this project are to be able to stock a student store with items that students, parents and teachers may need. Not only will students be empowered by being able to sell items, they will also help by learning advertising and marketing strategies. Students will learn to count change, determine the percent mark-up for merchandise, balance books, and figure out the amount of goods to buy. Along with teaching basic math skills, students will also hone collaborative, cooperative, and decision-making skills. Students will deal with cash, shortages, overages, inventory issues, and customer complaints. They will then take that knowledge on to High School and college, with hands-on experience rather than book driven business concepts. They will know whether they can (or want to) run a business in the future. Student stores not only bring together students and teachers, but they also have the ability to collectively blend the different aspects of the curriculum in an applicable manner. Students will be more excited about learning when they know they will use the information in the near future. A student store will also create a great sense of empowerment and pride with all students.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
This project will be evaluated by student engagement, parent and community involvement, and ultimately increased student Math skills. This project will help students make change, which is a task many of our elementary students have trouble with. This project will help with Math and/or English Language Arts standards in every grade level, from Pre-K (MA.4. Recognize the certain objects are coins and that dollars and coins represent money) through Grade 8 (ELA 8.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others). This will be a school-wide project, lower elementary students will make purchases and practice using money, while upper level students will be ‘running’ the student store. Older students will be writing about the store to post on the West Tisbury School website and sending letters home to parents with guidelines for use and materials lists. They will also be in charge of advertising and marketing for this store. These will include Visual Arts Standards such as ‘Students will demonstrate knowledge of the elements and principles of design.’
Benefit to the students and the school
There are multiple benefits of a student store for not only students and teachers, but also parents and the community. A student store is a convenience for everyone. If a student forgot their pencil or other school material, then the school store offers an on-site place to replenish much needed supplies. It saves parents an extra trip to the store and decreases the amount of time a student is without necessary materials. We are in an isolated area on a small island, so this will create a convenient spot for the entire community. A student store will also increase school spirit and build morale. We will include items with our school logo (Hawks) at the store, including apparel. A store will also teach kids valuable business lessons. Working in the school store has enormous benefits for kids, giving them their first real-world experiences with business operations, marketing, inventory, cash exchanges and sales. The benefits of a student store are many.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
We would like to have this Student Store up and running as soon as possible.