School coffee shop teaches valuable life skills

Something is brewing inside Carroll Jr. Sr. High School. A group of students has opened the school's first-ever coffee shop.

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 3:23 PM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Something is brewing inside Carroll Jr. Sr. High School. A group of students has opened the school's first-ever coffee shop.

They serve more than just coffee at this shop. You can also get soft drinks and cookies.

Paw Shop


But one of the coolest parts is the kids who started it and how they did it from the ground up.

The Paw Shop is Carroll Junior-Senior High School's newest coffee shop.

Brandon Crider is ready to work, "I felt the wind hit me when we raised it, I was like 'oooh geez!'"

So is Lindsey Falkenstein.

"We've been working really hard at this," said Falkenstein.

And her parents couldn't be more proud.

"I've been so worried to know, what is she going to do when she graduates," said Amy Falkenstein.

She's worried because Lindsey has special needs. In fact, everyone running the Paw Shop does.

Special education teacher Diana VanDyke says sometimes it's hard for people with special needs to find work.

"Hopefully, it will give them the job training skills they need to be able to interact with people and for people to accept them so that they can keep a job," said VanDyke.

The students had to come up with a business plan and present it to the school board to get it approved.

And to their surprise, "they were, like, well, 'we'd like to fund it too,'" VanDyke said.

Members of the board gave the students $3,000 to help them get started.

Working at the shop takes each student through the process of getting a job.

From applying, to the interview, to the final stages of taking orders and dealing with money.

Skills many of us don't think twice about could change these kids' lives.

"It doesn't come naturally to them like it does for other children so they're learning that and this will enhance that skill tenfold," said Faulkenstein.

And while they may be the ones serving.

"Drinks, cookies, getting orders, stamping their gift cards," said Crider.

What they're gaining will mean even more.

"I like it down here, getting to meet new friends, other teachers, getting to learn how to work with money, work with my hands," said Crider.

Administrators say after the kids pay off the loan, money will go toward helping the special needs students.

They'll use the money to do things like dress them for interviews.

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