Wearhouse Warriors

Posted on March 15, 2012


News | Erin Agnew

Springfield Township High School’s very own S.W.A.T. team can be seen mingling with the student body on a daily basis, traveling throughout the community while exercising entrepreneurial skills and civic involvement with energy and dedication.  This busy group of students also runs the Spartan Wearhouse, where anyone can stop in before school or during C block and pick up the latest in unique Springfield merchandise.
The school store has been a student-centered project from its beginning in 2009.  The project was announced with a contest at the Activities Fair that spring.  Students were asked to think of a creative title for Springfield’s spiritwear headquarters and then vote for their favorite out of top selections.  The student body gave the store an auspicious start by choosing the appropriately punny ‘Spartan Wearhouse’ from a list of contenders including runner up “Spart Mart”.
A visit to the school store, be it for window shopping or a shopping spree, is sure to show off all the Spartan Wearhouse has to offer.  Visitors are greeted by an organized inventory displayed with professional flare, and a staff of up to four S.W.A.T. team students at a time accompanied by their staff advisor Mrs. Lawler.
S.W.A.T. stands for Students Working and Training, a part of Springfield’s Learning Support Program that fosters life and job skills for the future.  Mrs. Lawler explains the multi-faceted, hands on approach to learning with an energetic “the more skills students have, the better equipped they’ll be!” The Chronicle was treated to a crash course on everything it takes to run sales and inventory.  Between cataloging inventories, scanning clothing, folding and displaying new items, printing receipts, and keeping the store clean and organized, S.W.A.T. team students live up to their name.
Taking a moment to think about the many purposes the Spartan Wearhouse serves, one can easily see that the institution has almost as many jobs as the students who run it. Students working in the store use a software program called Quickbook©, which turns an average school computer into a fully functioning cash register.  Using Quickbook©, students print out scanning codes for merchandise items, give customers sales receipts, and hone their money skills, social aptitude, and confidence.  For anyone who wants to show their Spartan pride with wardrobe staples like cozy Spartan sweatpants and knit hats, or bolster their T-shirt collection with a variety of styles, the Spartan Wearhouse is open before school and during all three lunch periods.
The S.W.A.T. students’ work does not end outside the walls of the school store by any means.  The team runs the snack bar during some school events, files and distributes mailings to teachers, collates copies, and washes smocks for the Art Department.  Outside of the high school, the team also operates ‘Arcadia on the Go,’ a traveling snack bar at local Arcadia University, does work with Meals on Wheels, and volunteers their time at the Keystone Hospice Center.
Looking into the future, Mrs. Lawler and the Learning Support team hopes to create a copy center, to add another dynamic skill to the S.W.A.T. team’s skill set, and ease the burden on the overworked library copier. Plans are also in the works to build a model apartment, for life skills practice.  Although she notes that there are still logistics to work out, Mrs. Lawler and her school store team like to have many projects in the works at once.  “You could describe it as organized chaos,” she explains, “but we always have a lot going on, and it really works.”

Posted in: News