LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Each cup of coffee served at a new cafe comes with a lesson. This year, students at Lee’s Summit North High School opened a coffee shop at the school.
Special education students in the Life Skills class operate the Crimson Cafe by themselves. Teachers say the setting teaches students skills they can use in jobs after graduating. The cafe gives them hands-on experience in time management, financial matters, and responsibility.
An added benefit is the social skills students learn by serving nearly 2,000 people in the high school.
"It's been awesome to really see them blossom and interact with other peers. They love being able to meet new people and they've done great meeting and talking to kids and being naturals at it," Brooke Green, a Life Skills teacher, said.
Life Skills students partner with business students to run the cafe. Money raised from coffee sales goes to improving the cafe by adding seats and giving Life Skills students more opportunities for field trips.
Green said hot chocolate is the best-selling item on the drink menu. The Crimson Cafe opens about 15 or 20 minutes before school starts and during study hall-like periods during the day.