Valley Point Elementary Special Education Students ‘Own’ a Coffee and Cookie Business | Local News

Every Friday, teachers at Valley Point Elementary School can warm up with coffee, tea and hot cider, while students can enjoy freshly baked cookies every other Friday, courtesy of students from The CC Crew .

The CC Crew has 25 to 30 exceptional student services students each year, although the cafe element is mostly limited to those in the fourth and fifth years for safety reasons, said Shanna Eaton, who initiated the operation. early January.

“Our third graders know they can start making coffee next year, and they’re really looking forward to it.”

“Teachers love coffee and tea, and students love cookies, so that’s great,” Principal Ali Finley said. “We are delighted that our children have opportunities, and it feels good as adults to help them.”

Young students bake, wrap and label the cookies, among other tasks, and 400 cookies were sold on a recent Friday, said Eaton, the school’s lead teacher for outstanding student service. The CC Crew also fulfills more than 20 beverage orders each Friday, and Textile Rubber and Chemical Co. provided start-up capital for the burgeoning business.

Members of The CC Crew created their own logo, which now adorns signs, shirts and aprons, Eaton said. “They love owning it,” and she plans to continue operating it at least until the end of this school year.

“They’re so cute with their aprons and smiling faces, and they’ve improved their communication skills a lot in a short time,” Finley said. “We love him so much.”

Members of The CC Crew confirm orders with teachers over the phone, which “really helped them (with communication skills) and they appreciate that,” Eaton said. They also interact with students and staff during deliveries, which “has helped a lot of them come out of their shells a bit more.”

Making deliveries is Junior Sanchez’s favorite part of working on The CC Crew, the fourth-grader said. Customers “order on an app, and we go to classes, (which) I like.”

Sanchez enjoys “having a job” and has learned several lessons from his job, he said. “You have to work hard and you have to be kind.”

When “you’re older, you need to have a job, and (we’re learning) how to keep a job,” said fifth-grade student Ashley England, another member of The CC Crew. Among other imperatives, “you have to help your teammates”.

“Our goal for all students is (graduation) and employability,” said Ruthie Rule, director of special education for Whitfield County Schools. “Time and again, (these students) show us that they can exceed our expectations.

When England learned of the possibility of a coffee and cookie operation at her school, she was ‘excited’ because it’s ‘the first time we’ve had to do (something like) this’, she said. declared. “I love helping make the cookies – it’s fun – and” she also appreciates the rewards she earns for her efforts, from hot chocolate to time to play games.

Students fill out “attendance cards” for their work and earn rewards for their contributions, Eaton said. “Every week they change jobs, so they (gain experience) doing different tasks.”

“They learn to be employees, (which includes) having a positive attitude, doing their best and (showing) good manners,” she said. They “also feel important, like they’re accomplishing something and they’re known.”

“Everyone knows The CC Crew contributes to our school,” and it’s important for members to be responsible role models, she said. “When you’re part of something like that, people look up to you and you have to be a good example.”

It’s “important that all of our students feel special and valued,” Finley said. “It’s a way for students (outstanding student services) to feel that.”

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