Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The students of Mosier Middle School are seizing the opportunity to improve their school surroundings and help change the learning experience for the future generations of students.
The effect of the hard work put in by the current seventh and eighth grader students can be seen in a new store they began operating on March 1.
The store is located at the site of the old gas station that was purchased by the school late last year, and will be open from 1 to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
“We’re using the (old store grounds) until the appropriate funds are raised to help expand the middle school,” seventh grader Maddi Simonds said.
Merchandise includes school apparel, honey, jams, dried fruit and produce such as potatoes, and onions.
Simonds said students are selling zucchini bread and a product they call “Tiger bars,” named after the school mascot.
“They’re similar to granola bars. They’re healthy, but they actually taste really good,” she said.
Also for sale are Mosier sweatshirts and bags. Simonds explained, “To create the sweatshirts and bags we put together the designs, then hired a company to make them.”
Parents and community members are donating time to help cook food and oversee the students in the store along with the activities director, Jeff Leonard, who skillfully built the store as a freestanding and enclosed structure. Leonard, the founder of Mosier Survival Gardens, has provided some of the store’s produce and products.
In addition to serving as a fundraiser for the school, the store also serves an academic purpose.
Students learn the ins and outs of operating a business, and such skills as customer service and how to develop an efficient retail pricing model.
“A lot of them have a real knack” for business, Leonard said.
The students also serve as taste-testers/focus groups for products to sell in the store.
The store will continue to be open during the summer, but depending on student participation, the summer hours may change.
The future expansion of the middle school will include three classrooms, a media and technology center, a new cafeteria, an outdoor education center and garden and a public park.
The cafeteria will replace the current one – last upgraded in the 1950s – which serves more than 200 hot breakfasts and lunches daily.
The building will also serve as a community center, with public access to classrooms, the media center and the commercial kitchen after school hours.
The classrooms will be used by the community for activities, classes and business projects. The kitchen will be available for use by food product businesses.
Depending on the pace of fundraising and construction, the project should finish in two to three years. Funding will come from public sources.
The hope is that the sale of the products from the store can help in raising $2 million for the school.
“That’s a lot of cookies and bags,” said eighth-grader Emily Spezzia-Schwiff.
Still, the students are determined, and they have a hard-to-beat sales strategy.
“Who wouldn’t want to buy from us?” said seventh-grader Leah Ralph. “We’re adorable.”
Contributions to the capitol campaign are accepted, by mail to Mosier Schools Campaign, P.O. Box 307, Mosier, OR 97040 on online at www.mosierschool.com; click on “giving,” then “donate.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge