Opening of the C&C School Store, Space Erase
By Karen Brandt, Director of Middle and Upper School
One day, a mysteriously large letter arrived in my office.
Once the IXs received the money required to purchase goods for the Store, the sales group sprung into action—surveying the faculty and staff to see what items were needed by community members, comparison shopping, purchasing, and, finally, pricing material. After days spent pricing notebooks, model magic, tissue boxes, and much much more, the IXs’ Room was a controlled chaos of material piled high on top of cubbies, occupying corners of the room, and under tables. The IXs cleared the shop of random items that were deposited there over the summer and painted their traveling sales boxes with the Space Erase theme colors of blue, purple, and black. The hard work paid off, and finally, after much preparation and a grand opening, Space Erase was officially ready for business!
By the end of Space Erase’s inaugural day, the IXs had sold out of highlighters! The IXs figured out that black pencils were a big hit, too—out selling the traditional yellow pencils—and quickly understood that the bright colors of model magic were a hot commodity. When I asked a group of IXs about the opening, they said: “It was exciting,” “It was successful,” “It was fun,” and “It was nerve-wracking.”
While the opening of the School Store is a milestone for the IXs, their work for the Store starts in the beginning of the year, as soon as they enter the IXs classroom. Virginia Parker, IXs Group Teacher circa 1985, wrote: “The store job in the City and Country School provides many opportunities for solving social problems in the dealing with peers and people who are younger or older.” Even the theme colors the IXs chose for their freshly painted display and sales boxes came through a process of discussion, collaboration, and strategizing. While working in the Store, IXs are tasked with developing their arithmetic skills—practicing math in context—and serving the community with warmth and clarity. As Virginia Parker wrote, “The responsibilities inherent in doing this job actively involve each and every child.”