New Spirit Store in Midland To Help Special Needs Students

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A new school spirit store at Midland High just opened their doors. But this store offers more than just t-shirts and mugs, it's trying to help students gain the skills they need to make it in life.

Walking in the store it looks like your ordinary school spirit store. T-shirts, mugs and even snuggies are for sale. But this store has a little more to offer, it's here to help out students with special needs acquire the skills to make it out in the world.

"What we tried to do is create job sites on campus before we actually go out in the community to have social skills, job skills, retail skills and things like that," Midland High School Teacher, Steve Darst, said.

Midland High has never had a spirit store. This has not only brought school pride to campus but it also has helped the students acquire the skills they need in a realistic setting.

"It's absolutely crucial, some day school is going to end for them. For every student, it's going to end and they have to have skills outside the building to function in life. If we can create those skills in school while they are here, that's what's going to carry them beyond school," Darst said.

The kids work in the store before school, during lunch and after school. It's all part of their life skills class. When they come in, they work just like they would at any other store.

"They do inventory, tag all the items, work the cash register and selling items. It's just a real store," Darst said.

Even though this store has only been open for two weeks so far everyone is excited for what they have to offer and the students who are working are even happier to be part of this program.

"Ï like it here, it's pretty perfect for me," Midland High Student, Sara Garcia, said.

"It's fun," Midland High Student, Alexis Carrillo, said.

"It's just a chance for people to see that everybody is the same no matter what you look like on the outside. It's just a program that everybody benefits from," Darst said.

The money that they make from the store will stay in the school and be used for students.