“Wake up and smell the coffee” might as well be the motto of a group of Lincoln High School students who arrive at school more than half an hour before the first bell rings to sell coffee in the hallways.
Students in RISE (Reaching Independence through Structured Education), a special education program, sold coffee every day at school this year.
Friday was the last day of activity for young entrepreneurs for this school year, as the last day of school is May 25.
The coffee program began last year with a $2,800 grant from the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation. Originally, the students made smoothies, and now they are turning to coffee. The grant went towards supplies needed to run the carts and to buy beans and cold brew coffee at Flyboy Donuts.
After:DOE and Noem Announce Which 3 South Dakota Schools Won $100,000 in New Fitness Equipment
Learn life skills
RISE students arrived before 7:30 a.m. to fire up the hot coffee maker and get the cart ready to roll down the hall and sell coffee in front of the school library.
Kaden Kittamus, a freshman at LHS, remained punctual throughout the school year, making sure to arrive at school on time to start the business of roasting beans, filtering coffee and preparation of creams, sugar, iced and hot coffee.
Kittamus and Cassia Oaks, a teaching assistant, spend every morning together working in the coffee business. Kittamus is “faithful every day,” Oaks said of his work ethic.
After:Sioux Falls School District Plans to Add Agriculture Classes to CTE Academy for Fall 2022
Socializing, money and currency management, and customer service are some of the skills Kittamus said he learned during his time at the coffee stand.
When there are people at the stand, he asks people: “Who has coffee? Who needs coffee? Kittamus said.
The coffee business teaches students the job skills needed to transition into employment, responsibilities such as showing up to work on time, clocking in and out, counting money and more, said RISE teacher Mary Alexander.
Alexander called Kittamus a “rockstar” for his hard work in the coffee business this year and said she was proud of how he went from knowing nothing about coffee and being intimidated by the process, to come every morning before school and do everything.
Reviews are here
There are regular customers who have their favorites, teachers and a student who regularly order black coffee, and customers who like to experiment with unique flavor combinations at the coffee stand.
Customers can pay $3 per coffee and RISE students pay $2 for coffees. The funds were used to purchase a new refrigerator for the RISE classroom, parties in December and May to celebrate the end of each semester, and other classroom needs for RISE students. said Alexander.
Rhonda Lambert, a freshman also in the RISE program, ordered an iced coffee with chocolate caramel swirl, chocolate creme and raspberry syrup. She said she loves the teamwork in the coffee business and learned to do both cashier and barista jobs.
After:Governor Kristi Noem appoints new member to Board of Education Standards
Randa LaRue, a senior at LHS, said she liked coffee because it kept her awake. Lailene Conde, a junior, and Katie Kroeze, a journalism professor, also stopped for coffee on Friday morning. RISE student Timothy James Storrs said his favorite coffee drink is coffee and caramel.
“They create the menu, they buy all the ingredients, they manage the money, they manage their time, they clock in and out and learn customer service skills,” said Allison Struck, executive director from the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation. at the school council meeting on May 9, 2022. “We want to teach our students skills they can use outside of the classroom as they continue their education.”