Linda Plumley is the Library Media Assistant at Roynon Elementary School in La Verna, CA where she oversees the student-run school store. She took a few moments to tell us what makes their school store awesome.
How does your school store work?
We are a K-5 school with an enrollment of 750 students. We’ve had a Student Store run by 4th and 5th grade Student Library Volunteers for the past seven years. In addition to our student volunteers working in the store once a week, they also shelve books and are each responsible for keeping a bookcase in our library neat and tidy.
The first step in becoming a Student Library Volunteer is to fill out an application. The second step is our interview portion which includes a question and answer session, a shelving quiz, and a trip to our student store to see how well the prospective volunteer makes change. We usually have between 75-100 applicants that are interviewed and then around 35 are chosen to be a Student Library Volunteer.
Our Student Store is open before school, recess, and lunch recess each day. In the past 7 years we have been able to purchase over 1,000 books for our school library with the profits from our Student Store.
If someone was going to start a school store, what's the best piece of advice you can give?
The best piece of advice I would share about starting a school store is to make sure you have the support of your administration and teachers. When I approached my former principal about opening a Student Store, he loved the idea and gave me all the support I needed, even providing some startup money to purchase our first Student Store order.
My principal also liked my suggestion of using student volunteers to run the store and he helped by being on the interview team. When looking for a location to set up our shop he approved of my suggestion to use a small room accessible from the library that was previously used as a storage room (and we all know how hard it is to give up storage space!) We now have another principal and he’s been just as supportive. Also by having the teachers’ support, our Student Store has been a success year after year.