It became apparent in the spring of 2020, as the pandemic wore on, that we’d need to figure out a Plan B for our popular StEP (Student Enterprise) Program. StEP Director Erin Harris stayed in constant contact with school leaders throughout the summer as she worked on a solution that would meet the needs of students, teachers and administrators focused on safety.
With many Tristate schools in either hybrid or remote learning mode, and the rest observing strict social- distancing protocols, she knew schools wouldn’t be able to host our much-loved (and crowded) StEP stores. But what she kept hearing from our loyal StEP teachers was that the kids NEEDED this program to continue; that being able to earn those StEP bucks and spend, save, or donate them was something the kids would really look forward to in a school year full of masks, plexiglass, and new routines.
So the online StEP store was born! Erin and her team built a digital catalog of all of the StEP store merchandise, and put out a call for volunteers to help assemble all of those orders, and distribute them to the children.
Wow, did you answer that call! Our loyal StEP volunteers, many of whom are still working remotely themselves, put on their masks and spent hours (socially distanced, of course) bagging and labeling the students’ orders, so they could be dropped off at schools.
Thank You to Our Army of StEP Volunteers!
When we aren’t in a pandemic, volunteering means helping out at in-school StEP stores. For now, our volunteers are helping by organizing and assembling all of the students’ online orders, and helping to deliver those fulfilled orders to schools.