During early classes in the day, students sometimes have troubles waking up and being ready to learn; the Special School District (SSD) has a way to combat this with a new coffee shop.
The shop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the SSD Center, which is on the first floor between the library and the weight room, near the junior entrance. The menu consists of regular coffee, hot chocolate, Keurig Coffee, water and cookies.
“We are trying to raise money for functional and vocational skills classes, so the kids can easily get around on the buses. Working at the stand gives a positive impact for their (the students) vocational skills, and the students love working here,” SSD teacher Emily McEntire said.
The employees at the shop are students from the Special School District. Their shifts are each 30-minutes.
Senior Anthony Peccola said he’d work there all day if he could.
“It’s just a different experience. We have to deal with the work environment which is much different from the school environment; I love working there. Not everybody knows about the shop, so I think everybody should come,” Peccola said.
Latin teacher Jeff Smith, a regular at the shop, said he sees Peccola working there all the time.
“He’s so nice that I tip him extra. The shop is real fun place to go to, and all the customer service is awesome. It’s convenient and for an amazing cause, so it’s a win-win,” Smith said.
For students or teachers who don’t have money in their pocket every day, there is also a system of punch cards. A punch card has a $10 credit and can be used to buy anything at the shop.
Once the punch card is filled with purchases and the customer pays, he/she can receive a free cup of coffee.
McEntire said, “The shop also has to make the students think of and use marketing skills.” With the use of marketing skills, students learn about customer service and sales.
Currently, the shop makes around $50 a day after opening near the end of January, according to McEntire. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies cost $1, Keurig Coffee costs $1.50 and water costs 50 cents.