Lisha Kill’s Baristas on Wheels: Fueling Education

This year, Lisha Kill’s Sarah Norton, has implemented a brand new initiative for her 5-6 life skills class. Looking to do something different at Lisha Kill, Norton conceptualized the idea of a student run coffee shop, on wheels. This decision was made by her drive to introduce her students to the life skills training courses that will be offered to them at the high school level. 

Three people stand around a cart that has varous coffee creamers and warm beverage options on it. Two of these people are students, one is holding an iPad to take orders and the other is busy mixing hot coco powder in a cup to be handed to a  customer monitoring the halls. The third is a teacher who is helping the students have a successful "shift" at the coffee cart.
Lisha Kill’s baristas in action.

“Getting an early start on developing life skills has helped the kids so much. I have not only seen improvements with their socialization skills and money management skills, but I have also seen so many students really come out of their shell throughout this process,” said Lisha Kill’s life skills teacher, Sarah Norton. “The kids love getting out there and interacting with their community, and the staff look forward to their rounds every day.”

As these young baristas hone these various skill sets, the impact of this initiative goes beyond the coffee cart. Norton is not only fostering the traits of a good employee, but also instilling values that seamlessly translate into positive classroom etiquette. The students are learning the importance of organization, attention to detail and effective communication.  These traits contribute not only to their success in running the coffee cart but also to their overall development as responsible and respectful individuals.

This innovative project has gained the support of Hannaford, who has offered to sponsor the coffee cart. Hannaford’s involvement not only adds a layer of community support but also provides students with a real-world connection to the business world. The partnership with Hannaford emphasizes the district’s collaborative efforts between school and local businesses to enhance students’ educational experiences.

In the center of the photo there is a cup located on the coffee cart. the cup is surrounded by creamers and hot chocolate or tea pouches. Directly next to the cup is a bottle of whipped cream. A students hand is in frame holding the bottle, while in the cup you see a swirly- curly dollop of whipped cream floating atop the order of hot chocolate.
Henry’s whipped cream creation.

In addition to developing practical life skills and fostering a sense of responsibility, Norton’s class has partnered with Hannaford in order to support  the Things of Our Very Own program. Through this initiative, the class has embraced the opportunity to give back to the community by adopting a family in need. 

“The funds raised through the coffee cart’s sales will contribute to a shopping spree for the kids to buy toys for the adopted family,” added Norton. “This program not only teaches students about empathy and kindness but also emphasizes the profound impact they can have on the lives of others in our community.”

As the students actively engage in philanthropy, they also learn that small actions, like serving coffee, can lead to significant positive change, reinforcing the idea that education extends beyond the classroom.