On Fridays at Martin Elementary School, teachers have been enjoying treats hand-delivered to their classrooms thanks to the Daily Grind Coffee Cart, an effort run by students in the school’s self-contained program. In addition to sweetening the day for staff, the program provides students with experience and skill development in a number of important areas.

The Daily Grind’s 14 students start their work by preparing the cart with the week’s food and beverage options. Then, working in three groups, the students don uniforms and divvy up the roles of accountant, greeter, server and cashier. These roles reinforce skills including verbal and nonverbal communication, math and money handling, teamwork and various social skills. 

Each group handles one hallway. Teachers interested in making a purchase simply hang a tag outside their classroom, signaling the cart to make a stop. The students then greet, serve, and take payment for their goodies.

The self-contained students are taught by Ms. Jennifer Slad and Mrs. Jennifer Boyd.

“The purpose is to put the skills that are taught in the classroom to use. Students are practicing a variety of skills as well as growing a sense of community amongst all Martin students,” said Katricia Boskey, Martin Elementary social worker.

In addition, the cart provides all students the opportunity to interact and be exposed to the students in the self-contained program.

“The Daily Grind has been a true team effort by the students, staff and related services working with Ms. Slad’s and Mrs. Boyd’s classrooms,” Boskey said. “It has fostered a real sense of community amongst all staff and students.”

Check out a short video of the cart in action below.