DAP School Store - Civics & Economics in Action

DAP School Store - Civics & Economics in Action
Posted on 11/14/2018

Sharrise Weaver, Danville Alternative Program’s middle grades science and social studies teacher, has found a way to get her students excited about civics and economics. The DAP School Store is now offering very important life lessons along with its snacks and drinks.

Each Friday morning, students, faculty, and staff at Danville Alternative Program get a welcomed treat. Anyone who placed an order with one of the DAP School Store student representatives receives his or her order. The student representatives take time every Friday morning to make their deliveries. Those receiving the treats are happy to see their orders and see the packages as a nice way to end the week. The student representatives, however, still have a lot of work to do be the next week’s deliveries can be made.

After completing all Friday’s deliveries, the real work begins. Ms. Weaver’s 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students must complete inventory for the school store. It is their responsibility to see what products the store has available to sell the next week. These students experience an integral part of the business world. They will not be able to advertise products that they do not have. They will need to edit their order forms to reflect their inventory--a very important skill for these future titans of industry.

On Mondays, the 7th and 8th graders join the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to continue the work. With updated order forms in hand reflecting their current inventory, the students now have the responsibility of entering each class and amass as many orders as possible. Students must use a businesslike tone when asking permission to interrupt class to make their sales of Gatorade, various chips, and candies. Students must continue their businesslike manner and tone while making each sale. They must identify what products are available and the cost of each product. If someone makes and order, the student must record the person’s name, what they ordered, and how much money the individual paid. If change is due, the student must give the person his or her correct change on the spot. Students learn the importance of language and tone throughout this process.

Following their school-wide sales pitches, the 7th and 8th graders also receive a first-hand look at one of the basic rules of civics and economics--supply and demand. After all the sales have been made and inventory counted, the 7th and 8th graders must analyze their sales and inventory reports to determine what products should be included in their next supply order for the store. These students must figure out which products sell, which products do not sell, and which products they may need to add to their inventory based on customer requests.

Because of their efforts, the DAP School Store is a huge success. To date, these go-getters have managed to raise enough money to order supplies to restock the store. Yes, Ms. Weaver quietly oversees the entire process; however, the brunt of the responsibility lies with the students. In the end, their efforts determine the success or failure of the DAP School Store.

As a reward for their hard work, Ms. Weaver is toying around with the idea of monetary incentives in the form of gift cards for the biggest seller and the most improved seller each quarter. Considering the amount of pride these students have in their store and their work, Ms. Weaver may have a hard time picking the winners. In my opinion, that is a good problem to have!