THE BRONX - A Bronx middle school opened a store run by students, for students, to teach them about customer service, money management and security.

"We select eighth-graders to work in the school store who show promise, and kids who really want to be in a social group," says Billy Carr, of the nonprofit organization Partnership with Children.

But the little store employees are not the only ones who get to have a firsthand experience with commerce at M.S. 296. Their pint-sized customers get to learn about bargains and ways to spend their money wisely while shopping for school supplies.

The store also offers sports equipment, games and other items that the children can afford, like trinkets, fashion jewelry and sunglasses. All the proceeds from the store will go toward the eighth-grade graduation and prom.

So far, the school store is open only on Fridays, from 3 to 4 p.m. But based on its growing popularity, the children hope to keep their store open several days a week.