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Students with disabilities create a special shopping experience for school district headquarters.

Students with disabilities create a special shopping experience

December 14, 2017

School district employees were treated to a special shopping experience when our school district headquarters hosted the 2017 Holiday Bazaar, staffed by students from six of the district’s school based enterprises (SBE). An SBE is designed and operated by students with disabilities. The enterprise affords many opportunities for students to have realistic and practical learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction.

Each SBE at the Holiday Bazaar offered unique, hand-made or crafted items with a festive theme, including the items mentioned below.  Prices were amazingly affordable, and each of the tables were extremely busy during the two hours of the event. Shoppers chose small gifts to give to co-workers, to take home and wrap up for family members, or maybe even to treat themselves!

Each of the students who served as salespeople and cashiers had been well trained in customer service, courtesy, and friendliness. Bright smiles, happy thank-yous and intense concentration at counting back change was evident at every table across the entire lobby.  Customers left feeling quite impressed with the great bargains they purchased, and even more pleased at having found a different way of helping students!

According to Peter Gamache, MBA, MLA, MPH and Jordan Knab, MA, Ed.S., "Student Based Enterprise is a set of entrepreneurial activities undertaken by students that provides an economic, social, and educational return to the student, school, and community. Student efforts are designed to enhance personal responsibility, an appreciation of risk versus reward, and confidence in achieving and maintaining independence."* HCPS students who participate in the different types of SBE's in their schools are able to work on building marketable, sustainable skills that will make them more readily able to become independent adults with strong work ethics and useful skill sets.  

This year's Holiday Bazaar at ROSSAC featured the following SBE’s from:

  1. LAVOY EXCEPTIONAL CENTER - scented candles and magnets/instructor Pamela L. Kennedy/SBE Name- Clever Crafts
  2. HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL- twisted, molded pens/instructor Johana Wright/SBE Name- Terrier Ink
  3. PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL - holiday and specialty buttons/instructor Sandy Denham/SBE Name- Raider Nation Enterprise
  4. CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL - crayon molds and holiday signs/instructor Jessica Jimenez/SBE Name- Extreme Pens and More
  5. BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL - bath bombs, bath salts and sugar scrubs as well as dipped pretzels/instructor Dr. Keren Vergon/SBE Name- IncrediBULL Pieces
  6. WILLIS PETERS EXCEPTIONAL CENTER- greeting cards/instructor Erica Slusher (not in attendance although greeting card inventory was available)

Enjoy photos from the Holiday Bazaar in the Flickr album below.  For more information about school based enterprise in Hillsborough County Public Schools, please contact Michelle Correll at or call 813-273-7030.

*Access original publication School Based Enterprise Development: Planning, Evaluating and Implementing by Gamache and Knab at


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