Coffee cart helps Broken Arrow elementary students learn real-world skills

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A student-run coffee cart is helping students at a Broken Arrow elementary school expand their social and academic skills in a fun way.

Fourth and fifth graders at Timber Ridge Elementary School started running the cart about two weeks ago with the help of their teachers. Special needs teacher Traci Williams applied for a roughly $600 grant to cover the cost of supplies for the cart to offer coffee, tea and hot chocolates with toppings.

Students prepare to dole out the hot drinks on Fridays all week long. Eight students with varying disabilities take orders, prepare supplies, then wheel out to service between 35-45 staff members over an hour or so.

Students charge and collect money from each teacher and make change when needed.

Williams said these steps arm her students with reading and math tools needed to be successful outside of the classroom. She told FOX23 the cart elevates what is possible to learn sitting at a desk.

“We can do all the worksheets that we need to, but this really brings it to life. This is what makes the kids actually learn how to use the money,” Williams explained.

The cart also fosters social skills like patience, manners and how to hold a conversation.

The sweetest part, Williams said, You can see the pride on the student’s faces. You can see the excitement on their faces. They’re coming out of their shell.”

Profits from the cart are used to replenish supplies. Williams hopes to continue offering the program for years to come.





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