Supporting positive student behavior and taking small steps toward marketing education are among the reasons the Captain’s Quarters store recently set sail at Anchor Bay Middle School North.
Although mid-level students aren’t yet taking marketing courses, vice-principal David Ledbetter said mid-level marketing is an idea worth exploring and students can take their first steps in that direction by working at Captain’s. Quarters.
“Part of the reason I wanted to bring this idea is that I come from a high school background,” Ledbetter said. “Marketing was a great class, it was a fun class. All the seniors and juniors wanted to take it. I wanted to do something similar here with our middle schoolers as they transition through high school.
The school originally planned to open the store run by student and parent volunteers in 2021, but plans were delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The space was carved out of the school by clearing a storage area adjacent to the cafeteria. Showcases have been donated and plans are underway for art students to help decorate the walls, Ledbetter said. The name Captain’s Quarters was selected through a competition.
The store started in stages. The start-up took place in the late fall of this school year, and now a consistent schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays has been worked out. Students and staff can check into the store before the official start of the school day, which begins at 8:04 a.m., as well as during meal times.
The school store is run by the 20-member student council and overseen by teachers and parents. Volunteer parents come to the store from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Parent volunteers were obtained through SchoolMessenger and email messages. Two or three parent volunteers a week help out in the store.
Providing a place where students can reap the rewards of doing the right thing every day is a key function of the store, Ledbetter said, as the school is in the development stages of implementing the Sailor Salute program. Students seen doing something positive, even something as small as opening a door for someone or helping a classmate pick up abandoned books, can earn a Positive Behavior Ticket and Sailor Dollars, which can be cashed at the store. Ledbetter said that at the end of the month, students with positive behavior tickets can enter a monthly drawing to receive a larger prize.
“I think this provides an opportunity to improve our positive behavior intervention and support system,” Ledbetter said. “It allows kids to buy rewards.”
Ledbetter said that in addition to the educational opportunities for students and the benefits of positive behavior, the store also allows students to have some freedom in school.
“It’s also something fun for them to do, they have the freedom to move around during lunch, socialize and shop,” Ledbetter said.
An account from past years was enough to set up the initial store and stock, and as the store grows, profits will be used to get stock, Ledbetter said. The store offers school supplies and many school-minded items such as t-shirts, socks and hoodies, lanyards and hats in various sizes. It also stocks fun items for students such as Pop-Its. Students play a key role in inventory selection.
“We’re kind of like, exploring that and expanding the inventory now, depending on what’s popular,” Ledbetter said.
The expansion will be in phases, he said, with plans for the future including an electronic cash register for students to learn about. Teachers have also been promised a coffee bar, which will provide a gathering place.
Nicole Tuttle is a freelance journalist for The Voice.