STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A teacher in Struthers who won the WKBN First News Creative Classroom Contest shows us how she brought her idea to life.
Each Friday morning, students in the special education program at Struthers Elementary School put their aprons on and brew coffee. This is part of Molly Martin’s iced coffee cart. The students take coffee orders from the teachers and staff.
“We do one to two grade levels per week. We started off with just one grade level every Friday until the kids got comfortable because it was taking us a really long time. Now, we do two grade levels, but then we also encompassed secretaries, the school nurse, school resource officer, cafeteria and paraprofessionals,” Martin said.
Martin’s students are assigned a new job each Friday. The kiddos scoop the ice, grab the coffee grounds, stir in the creamer and then take to the hallways. The students sell the coffee for $1 and sometimes they get tips.
“Everybody says it brightens their Friday. Some weeks can be brought, so to make it through the wee and then have these cute little kids knocking on your door with coffee, everybody seems to support it. Even teachers that don’t like coffee will donate to it, which is really great,” Martin said.
The coffee cart has also opened up many learning opportunities for students.
Academics, of course with math and county money, reading for the receipt. Social skills have improved tremendously. Some kids that never talk before are now our greeters and they’re are knocking on the door and saying excuse me and practicing manners,” Martin said.
Martin says none of this would be possible without the help of WKBN’s Creative Classroom Contest.
“I would not have been able to do it without it. I am very grateful we were able to get the cart and all the machines, the beginning supplies, and the aprons. It was nice to be able to get all of those little things that add a special touch to it,” Martin said.
Martin is grateful to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts for donating the coffee as well.