By Staff –
Funded by a SCSD Educational Foundation grant, the school created Cougar Café to empower students with the social, work-based and organizational skills needed to help them become college and career ready. In preparation for the café’s opening, students selected a logo, chose the name, and identified the skills they would need to be ready to work.
Sixth through eighth grade students now manage the café’s operation on their own, and, with the help of teacher supervisors, sell chips, fruit snacks, juice boxes and more to their classmates, with a plan to donate the profits toward sustaining the café for the next school year.
“When you have faith in students, and give them meaningful work to do, they exceed expectations,” Clary teacher Emily Buss stated. “I am beyond proud of all the planning, training, and hard work students have put in to all café operations. Some of our most challenging students work at the café, but what you see of them at work is a group of respectful and hardworking students- and that is what they are. I think this has given people in our school community a chance to see students in a positive light, and it has also given students an opportunity to become leaders and experts in our school.”
According to Buss, students have also developed positive self-esteem, interpersonal skills, collaboration, math skills, and more, in addition to gaining business experience.
Visit https://vimeo.com/209373161 to view video featuring the Cougar Café, produced by ITC Media Communications teacher Jeff Newell and his students.