Coffee anyone? Students feature thriving coffee service at WJHS

Post date: Jun 07, 2019 2:10:23 PM

For the Wells Junior High School staff thirsting for their morning cup of joe there is now a daily and very reliable student coffee service to meet that need.

Each school day, several students in the Bridges program start their day early to fill waiting pre-orders for coffee or tea. The service also includes delivery directly to teachers’ classrooms.

From preparing coffee to delivery about 30 minutes elapses with students done by 9:00 am.

Begun in the spring of 2017 with an initial grant from the school’s PTSA to buy supplies and a Keurig coffee maker, this now self-sustaining service finds the Bridges students doing it all from ordering supplies to the daily cleanup and all the work in-between including inventory and record keeping. Profits left after expenses go first to replenishing stock then providing funds for special projects and field trips.

The coordinator of the program is Occupational Therapist Robin Reidy. In an interview, Reidy pointed out the benefits to students and the school community. They include real-life experience preparing a saleable product, goal setting, time and money management, making change in a sale, budgeting, filling out bank deposits, and improving their social communication skills. The program also helps to achieve the goals of the Bridges program’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Reidy said that students fill different roles including set-up person, coffee maker (who is also the delivery person with a cart) and pick-up person who retrieves the cups and cup holders. This person also logs daily sales records.

“Our students do a fantastic job with the coffee delivery,” commented WJHS Principal AJ Dufort. “They are so positive and do a great job making sure that everything is put together just right. This is a great opportunity for our students to have positive interactions with their teachers and their peers. Our Bridges staff has done a great job supporting the students and helping this to be a very positive experience.

Coffee is not the only product from the Bridges room. Reidy noted that some Bridges students have been operating a school store two days a week for a couple of years. The store features fifty cent bags of popcorn and freeze pops for a quarter.

“All the things these kids are doing are very integrated into their individual IEP’s, said Reidy who stressed that, "We are not doing it (just) for a service. Everybody gets something out of it.” She added that teachers now look upon the students as “rock stars” because they sell freeze pops on warm days.

Getting ready for a coffee delivery at WJHS is student Kayden Hutchins.