Student-run store gears up for holidays
The Tiger Mart has been operating for more than a decade. Merchandise includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, customizable bracelets and more available and stocked up in time for the holidays. But Gwen Savoie, a teacher who supervises students at the store, said that most of the student body has never been to the Tiger Mart, even though they walk past it every day. She worries that parents and teachers are also unaware of its existence.
"We have quite a bit of inventory right now for Christmas gifts," Savoie said.
Student workers with the school’s non-diploma vocational program use the store as an opportunity to learn about customer service and communication skills. Teacher Jenny Hebert also helps to supervise and teach the students.
"We teach them how to use the cash register and handle money," Hebert said. "They also learn how to keep the store clean and neat, count inventory and keep merchandise stocked. We also teach them how to make balloon bouquets and how to use the laminating machine."
The hands-on experience that the students get could be invaluable as they search for jobs after high school.
Students Macy Dufrene and Allyson Conrad both work in the store and said that while the responsibilities can be overwhelming on busy days, the retail experience they are getting will help in their futures.
The store also provides for other students in the school by funding 40 percent of the PRIDE program – Prizes Rewarding Impressive Daily Excellence. The school-wide positive behavior support system recognizes students with no referrals and minimal or no absences. Those students are eligible to win weekly prizes, such as gift certificates and T-shirts, or quarterly prizes, like Nook or Kindle e-readers. At the end of the year, eligible students from throughout the school year are invited to a party with even nicer prizes, such as flat screen TVs.
Merchandise can be viewed online at the store’s new facebook page – visit www.facebook.com and search for "HHS Tiger Mart." Shoppers can also make online orders through the Facebook page.
The Tiger Mart is open on A days from 7:30-9 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.-12:45 p.m. The store is open on B days from 10:40 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Shoppers can call Hahnville High School at (985)758-7537 to find out whether it is an A or B day.
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