Van Buren Special Education Students Start Coffee Cart Business

VAN BUREN (KFSM)- Special education students at Van Buren High School are now getting hands on experience through a work program.

With help from teachers, the students have started a business called Coffee Cart.

"This is the grand opening of our [program] where we deliver drink orders to teachers," teacher Sarah Koch said.

Teachers can purchase prepaid punch cards in order to have their drinks delivered.

"They get the order form in the morning and they submit their drink orders and we prepare them and deliver them on carts," Koch said.

The teachers can choose from several drink options including coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate.

"It's fun," student Kendell Boyd said. "It gives us experience and we all get to work together as a team and that helps us in the real world."

The students learn how to make the drinks, deliver them and restock for the next morning.

"It gives them a chance to develop work skills, work ethic, and social skills," Koch said. "Eventually, they'll be able to be involved in the financial part of it, so also economics. It just gives them something to look forward to."

For many of the students, the best part is delivering the drinks to teachers.

"Transporting the coffee, getting to push the cart around, getting around the building and getting the teachers what they want," student Hayden Lively said.

Some students even have their eye on a big time coffee company.

"Right after high school, I want to work at Starbucks," student Zach Clayton said.

Students will earn money for their work to buy items they need or to take a trip to a restaurant. Koch said she has already seen a difference in her students.

"We have had so much support form the teachers so far and the kids are excited to come to school every day now and just looking forward to how many orders we get," Koch said. "I've seen such an improvement even with just our classroom environment."

The teachers said they plan to continue this work program. They hope to someday have the student body as customers.

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