Parkview “Barkery” Teaches Students Collaboration, Business Skills

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Special education students at Parkview High School gain business and collaboration experience by operating a dog treat business known as the Parkview ‘Bark’ery.

At the Barkery, located in the Parkview Functional Skills kitchen, students mix, bake, frost, package and sell dog treats. Teachers opened the business in 2017 with the help of a Springfield Public Schools grant, and have been baking alongside the students ever since.

“We wanted our students to be able to experience a business, and we wanted to bring a real-world experience into the classroom,” said Parkview Barkery co-founder and Functional Skills teacher Kim Duncan. “We thought ‘okay how is that going to happen? We’ve got to have a business.'”

Special ed students partnered with a marketing class called DECA to draft the Barkery logo, that went on to place in a state competition.

“[The students] actually created the logo, and we had lot’s of different ideas and sketches– we spent a lot of hours coming up with that,” said Heather Lindsey, who runs the Barkery’s social media and website. 
 
“Not only did it impact me by learning a lot and creating a business plan, but it also just helped me develop a relationship with each and every one of [the students]” said DECA senior Amy Trinh. 
 
Students have verified teacher’s hopes when they tell them they feel proud of the work they do. The Functional Skills department intends for students to graduate from Parkview and become valuable employees in their future careers.
 
“There are a lot of lessons in this– there’s math, there’s social skills and they’re reading too,” said Functional Skills teacher Kim Sartin or the transferable competencies students pick up on through the Barkery. 
 

Peanut butter, blueberry, pumpkin and plain flavors cost $6.50 per bag, and iced biscuits run for $7.50. Students sell the treats online or in-person at school events. 

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