SMETHPORT — If it’s Friday, first graders at the Smethport Area Elementary School, accompanied by an adult staff member, can be found in the halls with their coffee cart, delivering coffee, hot chocolate and cappuccino to the teachers and staff.
“We classroom teachers introduced this project as a career and social studies unit on goods and services, customers and products and aspects of a job, such as uniforms and job descriptions,” said Krystle Terbovich, one of the first grade teachers. Other team members are Amy Goodman, Wendy Higley and Karen Scott.
The faculty must place their weekly orders by Wednesday morning using an order form that lists the various choices of Black Coffee, Coffee with Cream, Coffee with Sugar, Coffee with Cream and Sugar, Hot Chocolate and French Vanilla Cappuccino. The cost is 50 cents a cup, and only quarters and one dollar bills are accepted.
Once the orders are placed and collected, this information becomes the topics for math lessons on Thursday as the students learn about tallies, graphing and counting money. “We have linked the curriculum to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards,” said Terbovich.
Erica Zeigler, the district’s food service director, has agreed to provide the coffee at a cost of approximately $10 for 30-40 cups.
According to Goodman, “The students are working hard each week to be chosen for one of the four jobs with the cart by following school rules.”
In addition to Kim Miller, an aide who pushes the cart, the first graders are accompanied by two sixth grade students.
The “greeter” knocks on the homeroom doors and informs the teachers the coffee cart has arrived.
One of the jobs of the “barista” is to hand out the cups to the teachers who pour their own beverages in the hall in front of their homerooms. These students also distribute marshmallows, cream and sugar, which the adults add to their beverages.
The server confirms the orders are correct and is responsible for keeping track of the Loyalty Cards, which entitle the holder to one free cup after ten paid orders.
The cashier carries the money bag and makes the necessary change.
Any profits are returned to the coffee cart project.
Speaking about this project’s success, Goodman remarked, “The response from the faculty and staff has been amazing in support of our vision.”
“The First Grade Coffee Cart is an amazing experience for everyone involved as our students are learning so many skill sets from career readiness to math skills to public speaking,” noted Elementary Principal Kristin Zona. “The faculty and staff who order the beverages truly enjoy the positivity and kindness the first graders bring to their doors every Friday. I am so excited and appreciative that the first grade teachers decided to develop this business with their students.”