DAYTON – Faculty and staff at Woodrow Wilson Junior High should soon have an extra bounce in their step on Friday mornings as one group of students will be serving up a good cup of coffee on campus.
Students in the Applied and Life Skills class will serve up smiles while gaining valuable experience that will pay great dividends for life with their new coffee cart endeavor.
“We have been working very hard in class on our life skills. Now, I feel that we are ready to take our learning to the next level. As a class, we intend to set up a classroom coffee cart to sell to teachers,” said Cynthia Stiles.
Stiles heads up the class and new coffee cart and is excited about the opportunity to teach her students these life lessons and help them prepare for their futures in the workforce.
“ Having a classroom coffee cart will help students work on a range of vital skills that will benefit them when going into the world of work,” said Stiles.
The program is getting a big boost thanks to a donation from Just Amazing Youth Sports, a local organization that provides opportunities in sports and life for children with special needs.
“Although we do focus on sports, our organization is registered as an educational organization with the secretary of state. That opens the door for us to impact kids both in and out of sports,” said JAYS President and founder Jay Matlock.
According to Matlock, Stiles was looking for help with donations of coffee supplies, and the group was made aware of the program and felt they needed to step up and help.
“ When our board member John Coleman brought Ms. Stiles’ idea to the board, we were all in favor of it. She’s molding her students, some of whom play in our organization, into people that can be productive in society,” said Matlock.
The skills the students will gain include everything from applying for a job to hands-on experience and, most notably, building teamwork.
“We will be working together as a team, applying for jobs, running the coffee cart, fulfilling orders, handling money and so much more,” said Stiles.
“ Their coffee shop is a great way for them to learn financial responsibilities, that teaches them life skills. Ms. Stiles’ goals and our goals as an organization align with each other; we both want these kids to thrive in life. They need these lessons to prepare them for the future, and we are honored to be a small part of this and help them get started,” said Matlock.
Stiles is grateful for the support of JAYS and how it will help the students.
“ The donations were such a generous gift to our students. We are thrilled to have Just Amazing Youth Sports support in making the business plans come to light. Through their donation, we have been able to sell coffee to the staff on campus. Just Amazing Youth Sports truly made a difference for the students, and we are extremely grateful,” said Stiles.
The JAYS organization is pivotal in assisting special needs youth throughout the community with activities throughout the year at no cost to their participants, made possible through contributions and fundraising events.
“If there’s another local school’s life skills class that would like to do the same or any other activities, we’d be more than happy to help,” said Matlock.
For more information on JAYS, visit them online at justamazingyouthsports. org or on Facebook.