Students learn job skills through coffee shop

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Thursday morning for a new coffee shop aimed to help special ed students learn soft job skills

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 5:21 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2019 3:05 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Special education students at Central High School are learning soft job skills by way of a new coffee shop.  The coffee shop was started by teacher Ashley Stanton, who received a grant from the St. Joseph School District to equip the coffee shop. 

"We just started The Best Coffee Shop Ever which is a student-led coffee shop ran in my classroom," said Stanton.

The students' job is making and delivering coffee to teachers throughout the school.

"We put the ice in a cup to fill it with tea and pop," Chris Pierpoint, special ed student said.  "That's what we do, we do our job."

The students said they love the job, but Stanton said it's more than just task work.

"We get to practice our money skills in a natural environment," Stanton said. "We get to practice professional conversations, professional dress and putting on a uniform every day."

Stanton said it's important for her students to learn the soft skills that they need to get a job so they're ready for the real world once they leave school.

"Our end goal is that every student will have a job once they get out of high school," Stanton said. "I'm trying to provide them with lots of opportunities to work on different job skills in as natural of an environment as we can provide in a school setting."

For the students, they said they enjoyed the social aspect of the job.

"My favorite part is delivering coffee to teachers and stuff," Pierpoint said. 

"They say thank you, and then they give us money." Maciah Page, special ed student said. 

While the students said its nice to get tips, Ms. Stanton said it's nice to see her students getting so much out of this new program.

"Anytime you can make learning fun it makes it more meaningful," Stanton said. "It's good for the students to meet new teachers and the teachers to meet new students."

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