Grosse Pointe WoodsSeptember 26, 2012
North launches new school store
By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Running a school store allows students to purchase school spirit items and a little snack during the day, but it’s so much more for the students who make it all happen.
North High School embarked on something new this year by opening a school store that is run entirely with student manpower from the cashiers to the managers.
“Grosse Pointe North High School is the first in the district to open a school store run by students, teaching the necessary skills for the real world,” stated an email from student Grant Strobl. “The Grosse Pointe North Business Department is sponsoring the store, where students signed up for a business class in fourth hour will have the opportunity to rotate positions in running the store.
“Students gain skills managing the store, using a cash register, being a salesperson, and other real-world positions,” the email stated.
The store opened last week and it’s been a big hit on campus and a source of pride for the students who are keeping the store.
“We had a really successful opening,” business management teacher Brian Levinson said. “They did a good job on back-to-school night essentially running it alone.”
Levinson said he has had positive feedback from teachers and students.
“They love being in here,” he said. “Everyone who walks in looks around and says, “Wow.”
Besides racks of clothes or other items, there are multiple tables where students can mingle and eat some food, and there is a foosball and air hockey table for students to enjoy some time with friends in the store.
“It kind of helps (to) hopefully build up, like, a community here,” he said.
Most high schools operate a school store and North has been working toward getting one up and running for some time, said North’s business teacher department chair Michelle Davis.
“It was just a matter of time and space and approval,” she said.
The funding was made possible with the help of organizations like the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education.
“We solicited some of the local businesses in the community,” Davis said. “They helped us out as well.”
The room the store has set up shop in was available. With a door to the main parking lot, the room was a perfect spot to allow the store to open during big games at the school and other events.
That will provide time for alumni to stop in while going to homecoming or other sporting events, as well.
The store offers a little something for everyone with T-shirts for $10 to embroidered jackets for $70, Davis said.
The students in Levinson’s business management course run the entire store. The class uses a flipped model, which means they do coursework as homework and apply their new knowledge through the hands-on store experience.
“This is their school day class,” Davis said.
“They run everything,” Davis said. “They make all the decisions on clothing to stock, food to stock. … It’s a great experience for them.”
For some students, this is how they’re gaining some experience for their future career goals.
For instance, senior Kyndall Echols has her sights set on a career in fashion.
“This really gives you a feel for how to sell to customers … and build a business from the floor up,” Echols said.
She said she has been learning to check inventory, set up displays and more, saying that the students do it all.
Other students also talked of how much they enjoy the work at the store.
“This is like the only class I look forward to coming to,” senior Sarah Richardson said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Senior Joe Dueweke said he enjoys interacting with other students and learning about running the store.
“It’s a great experience,” he said.
Excavation and creation of a pad on which the generator would sit took place earlier this month.