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November 8, 2012

Students learn from running store and café

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The store offers a variety of items such as school supplies, deodorant, bags, clothing, homemade goods, items for babies and seasonal merchandise. 

“We have things like poster board so parents don’t have to get out at night and make that trip all the way to Oneonta or wherever,” she said. 

There is a suggestion box in the room so customers can have an input into what is offered. 

Merchandise is not just purchased to resell, according to Henry. For example, she said a student has some of her photography for sale at the store, a community member has some quilted items and a couple people have things there on consignment. 

“We are always looking to get more locally made stuff,” Henry said. “The store is not just for student shoppers either. People from the community are encouraged to stop in and check out what we have to offer.”

The goal, of course, is to make money. However, the experience is providing so much more, according to Henry. 

She said it teaches the students about inventory control, banking and math skills as well as helping to develop their social skills. 

Henry said running both the coffee cart and store teaches students basic math that is used in everyday life.

They do the banking and keep a ledger, she explained. Henry said the students also separate drink and store sales. 

“I make sure they always count out the money they give back as change,” she said. “We also frequently hold sales so that they can learn about percentages.”

The store opened on Oct. 15 and has pretty much already profited enough to pay for its costs, according to Henry. She said there is no cost to the school. In fact, she said money is given back to the school for its general fund. 

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