Fridays during the school year, students in the life skills classroom at Bellefonte High School put together a cafe in the mornings.
Students worked during the week buying supplies, baking, and organizing materials. Teacher Rachael Davis says that running the cafe helps students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real life scenarios. For example, finding items in a store, interacting with cashiers, paying for items, etc.
Davis says, “It started out as an idea to incorporate the independent living skills along with the functional and educational skills. Also, food brings everybody together.”
Students work as greeters, baristas, servers, and cashiers.
The program gets support from teachers who are the cafe’s customers. Davis explained, “The best is having all these teachers in the room because it’s teachers they normally don’t get to see during the school day. Getting to interact with them, showing them and getting to say, ‘I made this and it’s delicious, you’re going to love it.'”
Principal Mike Fedisson says it furthers their goal to support all different types of learning at all different ability levels. He said, “We talk about education in all sorts of forms. So, to take this skill and be able to use it in life, no matter where you go, is really important. It’s really what we’re striving to do is to try and get them to be independent. The students to work with each other and build that sense of community in the school.”
The last cafe on May 11th raised money for student Miranda who graduates this year. The funds raised went to her graduation party that will be held at Governors’ Park where she and her family pushed to get a Liberty Swing installed.