New school store provides learning experience at MMS

Messalonskee Middle School students at their new store. (contributed photo)

by Mandi Favreau

The preparations started last year. Team Boothbay sold freeze pops to earn money, held a vote to choose a name, and started the work of creating a school store. The result was the Eagle’s Landing which had its official grand opening at Curriculum night a few weeks ago.

“I wanted to give my students an experience that would be engaging, beneficial and impactful,” said team Boothbay social studies teacher, Pamela  Atwood. “For many, it’s a great reason to come to school.”

The store also teaches valuable economic lessons in a very real context. All of the store positions, from general manager to order clerk, were posted along with their descriptions. Students had to apply and interview for any position they were interested in. Thanks to looping on team Boothbay, Atwood was able to staff the whole store by the end of the school year.

“Currently, I have over one-third of our team of 89 directly involved in the store,” said Atwood. She holds whole class lessons about accounting and decision making and holds regular staff meetings during lunch. While the administration was involved in the decision-making process during the opening of the store, the plan is for Eagle’s Landing to be run entirely by the students with staff oversight.

The store is open before and after school each day and carries school supplies, snacks, drinks, fidgets, school logo stickers, and a few novelty items.  They have recently added student-made products to their inventory to encourage entrepreneurship. They also offer gift cards that some staff members use as part of their incentive programs. Any profit that doesn’t go back into the running of the store has two possible destinations. Some of it will remain with Team Boothbay to help fund field trips or purchase academic supplies, while the students hope to donate a portion to Messalonskee Middle School’s general fund which pays for special events and items for the whole school.

“It is my hope that the store will continue to grow and eventually expand beyond the reaches of Team Boothbay,” said Atwood. “This was a great way to help students feel like a part of the MMS community and take on some ownership.”

 
 

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