Ray Spahn is a fifth grade teacher at Sackets Harbor Elementary School in Upstate New York. He took a few moments to tell us about their school store and how they use it to raise funds.
Tell us about your school and school store
We are a small school district with K-12 in one building. The fifth graders run a small School Store from a push cart that we set up on two student desks and a fold-up card table in a hallway. Our customers are K-5 students.
What is the purpose of your school store?
The money we raise through the school store pays for class trips to Upper Canada Village in Canada. We also use the funds to provide ham dinners for those less fortunate at Christmas, and to supplement other class activities.
How are your students involved?
I run the store with 4 student managers (2 from each class). They help pick out what items to order and they place the orders. A classmate from each class works 1 week stretches. We are open officially for 10 minutes before the starting bell rings.
The 5th graders love working at and shopping at our store. Being a Store Manager (I have 4) is a highly desired position.
If someone was going to start a school store, what's the best piece of advice you can give?
There is a big learning curve to start with. I pretty much had the store dropped on my lap. I learned to make sure I made a good profit on the popular items to cover the slim profits on more practical items.