The Corner Store has recently reopened for the school year. According to FSA teacher Denise Holsapple, the goal of the store is to expose the special education students to real-world communication skills.
“I personally think it is fun to watch the kids come in here and interact with our students. It gives them another opportunity to interact with the gen-ed kids and build that relationship,” FSA teacher Marni Drechsel said.
The store is open during the ten-minute break after second period and during first and second period Viking Times on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Because of federal food guidelines, the Corner Store staff said they are looking to expand their options.
“I would like to know what students would like us to have at the store. Some of the stuff was here all year last year, and it just didn’t sell, which is kind of silly. We have a box that we put out to say ‘hey what do you want?’” Holsapple said.
The suggestion box is located on the table near the entrance to the corner store, along with their items for sale. In the past, coffee, cocoa and granola bars were popular among their customers.
“We need new ideas because I was told when the store was really rockin’, we had Costco muffins, but I don’t think we are allowed to have them anymore,” Drechsel said.
Holsapple said all ideas are welcome and will evaluate them to see if they meet the guidelines before placing them in the store. She said she wanted to put things in the store that students will buy and enjoy so her students can have experience managing the many tasks involved in running a store.
“The job skills of organizing and doing inventory are invaluable. I mean, that is something you could do at Walmart as a job: taking inventory, stocking inventory, counting money, making the deposit,” Holsapple said.
There are six to nine jobs available for running the store. The roles are rotated through the students, ensuring that all of the students are able to take on different responsibilities. The jobs include setting up, taking down, counting the total money, checking out the inventory and calculating the amount of money they made on that day.
“We are not running this store for the profit,” Holsapple said. “It is real life skills that you have to learn if you want to go into accounting. The store is teaching our students these skills, and that is huge.”