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Pilot program “Cougar Coffee” seeks donations

Colleton County High School’s (CCHS) special education teacher Karen Lockerman is excited to announce the opening of “Cougar Coffee”.   The student run java hut is a new idea being brought to CCHS by Lockerman after doing nationwide research on ways she could help her students learns real life valuable job skills.  Some of the skills she hopes her students will learn from working in the coffee shop are following a recipe, sequencing steps in an activity, fulfilling an order, appropriate social skills, sharing, basic number recognition, basic reading, reading comprehension, health and hygiene, how to count inventory, deposit and collect money and delivering and serving.

 According to Lockerman, schools across the country have tried business models like “Cougar Coffee” and have been successful.   One elementary school in Summerville has been able to partner with a local coffee shop that even provides coffee for the students to use.  “Being a pilot program we are starting the year without a budget and are hopeful members of the community and local businesses may be able to help out program get off the ground.  So far we have received coffee machines, embroidered aprons, assorted coffees, stirrers, creamers and sugars.  We still need cups with tops, sleeves on which to write the customer’s name and to protect their hands, a cart to deliver orders, a cash register, hats for the workers and any other items that might benefit our endeavor,” said Lockerman.

The plan is to use the gym concession stand which is right across the hall from the classroom.  At first, the coffee will only be available for purchase from employees at CCHS.  Once the students learn how to take orders at the window the hope is they may start taking orders over the phone and deliver their products around the school.  For the small cost of $1 a cup, school employees will have a choice of regular or decaf coffee.  They will also have a loyalty card in which their fifth cup will be free.  Lockerman hopes to eventually add more selections to the menu and said it is unclear if students would ever be able to order from the shop due to the caffeine. 

Each month, students will interview for a position at “Cougar Coffee”.  The shop will need around five students to run smoothly.  They will be expected to provide prompt and courteous service.  There will also be monthly competitions to work on marketing skills and the winners will earn rewards.  The money that is earned from the coffee shop will be used to run the shop and for field trips for the special needs students.  If you are interested in helping “Cougar Coffee” get up and running and have items you are willing to donate contact Karen Lockerman at klockerman@colleton.k12.sc.us

Christie Slocum (595 Posts)