A steady demand by students at Cleveland High School has buoyed the Raider Trader from a nickel-and-dime school store to a micro-business capable of funding several scholarships in the Business and Marketing department.
Entrepreneurship teacher Melissa Adams explained the school store averages a weekly profit of $200 to $300. All of the money is placed back into the store or school. These include field trips, class projects and the Raider Trader scholarships.
Only seniors who received a high grade in the Entrepreneurship course were eligible for the award. Consideration was also given to the overall GPA, volunteer hours in the store, a letter submitted regarding leadership and work ethic in the class and those interested in pursuing business or marketing in college.
Both Crissy Semake and Britney Nimmo received $500. Malik McDermott received $250. The awards were announced at the recent Class Night.
Adams explained the store’s balance is purposefully kept low.
Aside from the scholarship, profits are used to finance projects developed by the school’s three-level Leadership course.
The store contributed approximately $500 to the various course projects during the 2013-14 school year. The plan is to do the same next year with a slight twist.
“Our kids will be involved in the planning process,” Adams said of the entrepreneurship students. “The leadership students will come up with their project ideas and they will come in and present to our kids who will then ask questions. We will then vote on which projects the money will go toward.”
Funds have also been used to provide sports marketing and business management classes with the opportunity to attend the Tennessee Titans learning lab. Students learn about all of the careers in sports marketing and sports management. They also attend a game after the lab.
The field trip costs almost $1,000.
Adams explained field trips cannot be taken unless the school covers the costs. The Raider Trader profits ensure the students will not miss an opportunity to further their education outside of the school.
Funds are also reinvested back into the store.
Adams explained one of the biggest challenges the students have with store management lies in the balancing procedures.
“Our challenge for next year is trying to fix that issue. One of the things we are going to do is buy iPads,” Adams said. “We are setting up iPad checkout stations with a apps on them. Instead of having a piece of paper where they will have to remember to [tally] the purchases, it will literally be on a touch screen.”
She said the iPads, which will be purchased through store profits, will automatically record the data, count the sales and enter the information into the computer.
Adams will also invest in a video camera security system for the student store. It will connect to her computer, and allow her to keep an eye on the store procedures as she teaches class. The system will also allow for playback in the case of a prank, theft or question in auditing procedures.
Additions to the Raider Trader and Cleveland High School will continue into the 2014-15 school year.