It is a long-standing tradition at The Fulton School in St. Albans to have the sixth-grade class run the school store, which offers a variety of lunch items, snacks and beverages for sale.

The store is open every day during all lunch periods for preschool through 12th grade.

The school store is a multidisciplinary activity completely run by the sixth-graders. The students apply a variety of skills they learn from language arts and math class to carry out different jobs.

Students change positions every month. The positions include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, marketing, decorator, special sales and inventory.

The students have weekly business meetings where they make decisions and plan special events like bake sales, holiday raffles or snow cone days. The students are in charge of choosing the inventory, stocking the shelves, keeping the store tidy and operating the cash box.

Profits made throughout the year are allocated to the sixth-grade philanthropy project. This year’s class focused on local charities that might benefit from its donation — especially during the pandemic — and voted to give $1,750 to Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery.

Located in Washington and serving the residents of Franklin County, Grace’s Place is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve as a temporary emergency shelter for children and families in crisis by providing a loving and safe environment for children.

“Grace’s Place is a home where children with hard lives or harsh living conditions can stay,” said sixth-grader Evan Monzyk. “With our donation they plan to buy outside toys and bikes for their new location and a shed to keep them in. We hope to be able to go to their open house this summer to see how our donation helped.”

The sixth-graders, along with their teacher, Tracy Lannert, met with a representative of the organization in a Zoom meeting this spring.

“I was super impressed with the students’ knowledge of our programs and their passion to give back to their community,” said Amanda Jones, CEO of Grace’s Place. “I am a firm believer that if we don’t model for our youth how to give back and explore how it feels to do something kind, without the expectation of a reward, they won’t learn or be able to experience what selflessness feels and looks like.”