A group of student entrepreneurs recently celebrated the opening of Bunnell’s first school store in years.
Vincent Salzo , Patch Staff
STRATFORD, CT — A group of student entrepreneurs this week celebrated the opening of Bunnell's first school store in years.
The students and faculty of the Bulldog Business club held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to officially launch the new store.
Bulldog Business is a new after-school club that is advised by Business teachers Chelsea Maza and Katherine Hopkins. Some students serve as marketers/sales during study halls throughout the school day, according to Maza.
The Career and Technical Education department at Bunnell High School has been "working tirelessly to improve school climate in support of Stratford’s school improvement plan as we program in this post-pandemic world," according to Maza.
The new store is part of that endeavor.
There are currently 25 students involved with the Bulldog Business club, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Most of the students have taken, or are currently enrolled in a business class.
"The students have been working toward this goal since October of this school year," Maza and Hopkins said in an email to Patch. "They have been learning first-hand the initial steps taken to begin an entrepreneurial journey. They have surveyed peers, drafted school store concepts, and, with Advisor support, have requested Perkins Grant funding through the Board of Education. The Board has been extremely supportive of the students’ endeavors and they now have a mobile school store."
Maza and Hopkins said it has been an extremely rewarding experience for them as teachers.
"These are rock star students to begin with, and seeing them engaged and connecting their learning to a real situation has been incredible," they said. "We are hopeful that this new school-based enterprise will enrich the Career and Technical Education experience at Bunnell High School and that we can help students gain employable skills for their future."
The new mobile store has helped fill a void at Bunnell.
"Many years ago Bunnell had a small school store, but at the time the Administration and student population felt a school-based health center would better serve the children at Bunnell High School," according to Maza and Hopkins. "This Health Center has been a phenomenal addition to the school community, but we were determined to find another avenue to introduce a school store after many years without it. This new mobile option is the best of both worlds – we hope in the future we can roll our cart to sporting events and other popular programs in and around the BHS community."
The teachers said they are starting off small with the store, but have plans to "grow the enterprise and build community connections."
"If there are entrepreneurs in the area interested in sharing their story, we would love to create opportunities for our students to hear from these individuals," Maza and Hopkins said. "We truly hope to inspire students that they can take their learning and become an entrepreneur or further their business education studies through post-secondary options."
For more information, contact Maza at [email protected] and/or Hopkins at [email protected] .
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