Learning business: Norge Elementary students open coffee cart

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – So much can be said about a cup of joe. For many of us, that cup of coffee can get our morning started on the right foot.

It’s also a much-appreciated treat for teachers hard at work at Norge Elementary School in James City County. But their coffee cart means much more than a jolt of caffeine.

Here’s how it’s giving students a lesson on life – one cup at a time.

At Norge Elementary, not only do they teach reading, writing and arithmetic, but they are teaching students to deal with real-life experiences one sip at a time.

In the hallway of Norge Elementary sits the extreme coffee Llama.

It’s a coffee cart created by three teachers that is providing students with disabilities the chance to learn skills that they can apply to the real world.

“They are learning to talk to their peers. Follow directions. Follow a script. And also to put together other objects to have a completed project. ” said Erin Westover, with Norge Elementary.

Removing the kids from the classroom and creating real-world experiences like engaging in conversation and making change. Basically, they’re running a business.

“Builds confidence. And their abilities to be a part of their community. In a way that is practical and functional, ”said Madison Kent, with Norge Elementary.

The coffee cart collects cash at $ 1.50 for coffee, tea or hot chocolate. And the students must clock in and clock out to get paid. The money is deposited into bank accounts.

“So they know what deposit means and what withdrawing means. We tie that to addition and subtraction. So that when you deposit something you are adding something. When you withdraw something you are subtracting, ”Kent said.

In the end, they are learning the benefits of having a job and earning a paycheck.

“What do you get when you work hard? What do you get? ” Westover asked one student.

“Money?” one student responded.

“You get money – yes!” Westover said.

The students involved in the coffee cart are not just making coffee – they are also learning business skills and building and building confidence along the way.

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