The Cave, one of the oldest school stores in Vancouver, was celebrating its 20 year anniversary last week at Britannia Secondary. Opened in November 1993, the Cave is operated by Grade 11 and 12 students and is an integral part of Britannia's Marketing Career Preparation program.
Lee Nipp, Britannia's business education department head, sees the program as a great way for students to build relevant career skills to help them transition into the work force and guide post-secondary studies.
"The Cave is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with retailing," he says. "It acts as a marketing lab-they get to practice everything they learn in the classroom in a peer-to-peer mentoring environment."
Grade 12 students work as managers and partake in duties such as opening and closing the store, training employees, creating visual displays and making the daily deposit. Marketing 11 students are employed as sales associates and serve customers at lunch and recess. This year, there are over 45 students involved in the school store program.
Grade 12 students Lisa Liang and Tracy Tung have been working at the Cave for the past two years and want to pursue post-secondary education in business. The students found the school store program extremely beneficial to help them hone their business skill set and have fun while doing so.
"I want to go into business and working at the Cave helps me gain some retailing skills. I learn a lot and it's a lot of fun too," says Liang.
"The Cave has broadened my experience and helped me think about future career goals," says Tung. "Now, I'm more interested in learning about business."
The business program at Britannia also offers a student scholarship program funded by the profits made from the school store. To date, over $50,000 has been distributed to 100 students exemplifying strong leadership skills and positive contributions to their school community.
"It's been extremely rewarding seeing students progress over the years," says Nipp. "Definitely one of the highlights of my career."
To learn more about the Cave and business education programs at Britannia, visit www.britannia.vsb.bc.ca