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School Uses eBay Business To Teach Skills, Earn $

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Steps for Success is a school within a school at Mounds View High School with smaller classes and a focus on kids who may need more support. (credit: CBS)

Steps for Success is a school within a school at Mounds View High School with smaller classes and a focus on kids who may need more support. (credit: CBS)

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MOUNDS VIEW (WCCO) — Mounds View has had a lot of athletic success in a lot of different sports. Their football team is undefeated and girls tennis is one of the top programs in the state. But the school is also doing some great things academically.

You’ve probably never heard of or seen a classroom like the one in Mounds View High School before. It’s perhaps the only profitable classroom in Minnesota.

Some kids at Mounds View High School are running a real business.

“They have a lot to be proud of. They’ve made the district about $20,000 in the past year,” said Amy Alvarez, the dean of student programs coordinator.

The students are selling old computers and just about any other technology the school district is no longer using on eBay.

“We posted 10 iBooks on eBay and they sold for like $1,300. That was pretty huge, that was near the end of the school year last year,” said student, James Lenzmeier.

They take pictures of the items, determine the prices, and post the listings on the web. After the sale, the kids pack them up and ship them out.

“They started the business. So they started off with (asking) what supplies do we need? They put in tech requests, so they needed (to know) what hardware. They came up with a customer service plan,” said Alvarez.

All the kids are part of a program called Steps for Success. It’s kind of like a school within a school with smaller classes and a focus on kids who may need more support.

“They’re learning really great job skills. So, they’re learning customer service and how to deal one-on-one with their coworkers and how to solve conflict. How to do things like inventory and use Gmail and Google docs and things like eBay — and all sorts of technical things as well,” said Lindsay Luczkowiak, a Steps for Success behavior manager.

The kids don’t get paid, but do receive something priceless.

“It feels real great, all my teachers are proud of me, my family is proud of me,” said student, James Thompson.

In fact, Thompson won a national competition based on the school eBay model and that led to college scholarships.

“It’s had a really big impact on my life. I see things a lot differently and I obviously know a lot more and it helped me realize what I want to do with my future,” he said.

The students will be using some of profits for a great field trip, but the rest is going back into expanding the program.

If you are interested in purchasing anything from the Steps for Success program on eBay, click here.

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