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Brew Crew brightens mornings at Shields Elementary

Student baristas serve up coffee for staff
January 2, 2019

Friday mornings are hopping for the Brew Crew at Shields Elementary.

The Brew Crew, comprising Intensive Learning Center students Taylor Evans, A’Riyah Johnson, Ava Roswell and Jada White, are busy filling coffee orders for about 40 staff members.

ILC teacher Devon Reber said she approached school leaders about a coffee shop after reading an article about running a small business in a special-needs school.

“The response was overwhelming,” Reber said.

Reber said the school PTO funded a Keurig, coffee and hot chocolate, and Cape Community Cares provided another Keurig to meet demand. Students began serving the second week of school.

Staff use a color-coded order form to indicate coffee and creamer flavors, and whether they want sugar or artificial sweetener. Orders are submitted Thursday afternoon so the Brew Crew can get to work early Friday morning.

Students match colors on the order form with inventory to make coffee specifically for each staff member.

“We change flavors seasonally,” Reber said. “Now, we have peppermint bark and sugar cookie coffee and creamers.”

Students next load up the Brew Crew delivery cart, serving one hallway at a time so the coffee is hot and fresh.

“It’s good social interaction for them to get involved with other teachers and staff, and learn how to serve,” Reber said.

Staff puts empty cups in the lounge cup return bin, and students retrieve them for cleaning.

The life-skills training students receive has already produced results.

“Jada wants to work at Starbucks when she gets older,” Reber smiled.