School Shops : A Community Project


As I was walking down Brackley High Street yesterday afternoon I passed a couple of empty shops and the following idea struck me…

What if all the schools in the town got together to takeover one of these run down shops for one week. The shop could sell items created by the children. This could include artwork – as prints, or printed onto T-shirts, mugs etc – items created in DT, digital art created in ICT, anthologies of poetry or writing and so on.

I think the idea of having several schools all contributing would enhance the ‘community’ aspect of the project and all profits could go towards a local charity. This charity could then change year after year. With more schools taking part there will be a larger bank of parents who may be able to contrbute in some way – to help cleaning up and decorating the shop or to man the shop for an hour each.

So key benefits of the project…

  • Establish strong community links.
  • Revamp an old tired, run down shop.
  • Raise money for local charity.
  • All key stages could contribute, from artwork created in the Early Years through to A Level business studies.

My head is currently buzzing with ideas for this and this post is simply a way opf beginning to get it written down. When I first tweeted the idea several people responded that it was a good idea and that they ould like to do something similar – imagine a network of these school shops across the country. That would be amazing.

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7 thoughts on “School Shops : A Community Project

  1. A really great idea, Chris. Would definitely be very interested in ways we could get involved with this. We have an enterprise club at school and do work with Higher Futures 4 U. These groups fit instantly with the model you’re talking about, and I could imagine my Digital Leaders coming up with some great stuff, too. Hmm… ideas aplenty…!

  2. Hi CHris,

    I hate to say this, but the idea is already running in North Yorkshire. Foston Primary School runs the village post office, as there is not enough business to sustain a postmaster. The school has taken on the venture and runs essential services such as stamps, postal service, etc.
    This link has a little bit on it: http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/archive/2010/04/07/Local+news+%28gh_local_news%29/7988288.Cash_boost_kick_starts_Foston_Primary_School_post_office_plan/
    The idea apparently runs very well as I have friend in the village who is an at-home-mum and she uses the postal service.

    I know it is not exactly h=the same as your idea, but I am sure they may have ideas and tips.

    1. That sounds fantastic – not exactly the same as my idea as I am thinking of the shop only being open for a limited time and being a collaborative project between different schools in the local community – but it does show that the idea in principle is completely doable. Thanks

  3. It’s a great idea. Hopefully Caron will be in touch soon – she’s an inspiration. They shared their shop with a local charity – the school had it Mon to Fri and the charity used it at weekends. This had its pros and cons!
    Their idea was to actually do the shop up using the students’ talents in construction, painting and decorating and IT. Then they used the ‘Pay it Forward’ idea from the film and the students did free beauty treatments and IT training to members of the public, on condition that the people they helped went out into their community and did something nice for someone else – thus, paying the favour forward. (If you haven’t seen the film ‘Pay it Forward’, you really must!)
    The shop was a massive success once the local people got over the fact that there was no catch, that they really were getting something for nothing!

  4. Sorry I am rather late to the table! It is a fantastic idea; I especially like the part about several schools getting involved – you might need another community group to run it in the holidays? Pensioners maybe?

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