The Colt Caboodle is the school store run by 4th grade students at Brookwood Elementary School. Brooke Ahlers is part of a team of teacher sponsors that oversees the school store which is part of the school’s entrepreneurship program. She took a few moments to share more about their school store.
How does your school store work?
The entrepreneurship program is school wide, but the 4th grade runs the store. Students continually conduct a market survey for item interest and they have to apply for the job at the school store. Store workers must give up their free time to work because the store is not open during instructional time. They either come in early to run it during arrival or they give up their recess.
What do your students learn?
Skills - Our students handle money transactions and counting back change, customer service, product knowledge, technology skills (they use an iPad) to complete transactions, and inventory control.
How successful is your store? What do your students think?
We average around $60-$80 a day in sales. The students love working at the store and we use the afternoon (recess) time to train new employees. The shoppers love when we get in new items and they continually check back to see what is new.
We also promote our store through our morning video announcements.
If someone wanted to start a school store, what’s your best piece of advice?
We started our store by applying for a grant. I would encourage new schools to start small and build up. When we started we only carried 6-10 items and now we carry 25 items at a time plus have back stock inventory to replace items that sell out. We have to order new merchandise about once a month.