Life Skills Coffee Cart brews hands-on education

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

The “employees” of the Meyersdale Area Coffee Cart have been “brewing” great experiences, new skills and satisfied customers! Students launched this new venture several weeks ago much to the delight of their growing customer base! Participants include: Jacob Felker, Wes Jeffries, Gabby Meyers, Luke Barron, Justin Kinsinger and Mason Mohney.

A “brew”tiful venture has been launched at the Meyersdale Area Elementary School (MAES) and the benefits are sure to be a “latte”! Students in Mrs. Marissa Deist’s Life Skills class, have started a small business called The Coffee Cart. Modeled after a similar program in the high school, The Coffee Cart accepts orders for coffee and baked goods from faculty and staff at MAES every other week.

“So many skills are practiced during this time. Appropriate socialization and communication skills is one of our main focuses. The students are also learning about following directions, totaling money amounts, making change, preparing orders, delivering orders and cleaning up after themselves,” she explained. “The Coffee Cart also helps to promote independence and discuss transition/job skills as they are beginning to get older. Another highlight is that my students are taught in my classroom for their entire elementary school career, so it’s a nice way for the faculty and my students to get to know each other a little better.”

Deist’s six students are assigned individual jobs and responsibilities each week, and will rotate through the various jobs as the year progresses. This allows each student an opportunity to learn and excel at every aspect of operations of the Coffee Cart.

“My students learn best when activities and skills are presented in a hands-on and engaging way. Allowing them to actually practice these skills in a real life setting aids their understanding of how and when the skill will be used in everyday life,” Deist explained. “They get to experience how a ‘business’ is run and learn how every person has a part and must work together for the business to be successful.”

The experience gained through this experience are invaluable and are skills students will utilize throughout their lives.

Deist said the enthusiasm demonstrated by the “employees” is only matched by the delight they deliver.