These Last 30 Days

"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so....get on your way!" -Dr. Seuss 
So much has been happening in the Cafe in these last 30 days! The students have been working SO hard and have impressed me every single day. The big skill area of focus has been money...this includes identifying money (we even got our first $2 bill!), counting money, giving change back, and solving addition problems involving money. 
Within these last 30 days, the bar was raised, and the students met the expectations without even blinking. Our two biggest accomplishments include.....
Exactly one month ago was Veteran's Day. Every year our school puts on a wonderful ceremony honoring our local heroes. Afterwards, the Veteran's are invited back to the high school cafeteria for coffee and breakfast. This year (shout-out to the wonderful high school kitchen staff for being so welcoming and helpful!) Cafe 432 was able to serve coffee to all of our local Veterans …

Meet the Staff-- Ryan

As a way for our customers to get to know the students better, I have been interviewing each of the kids. Each month, a different employee will be featured. 

Introducing..... Mr. Ryan 

What is your favorite color? Ryan: Blue 
What is your favorite animal? Ryan: Cats. I have 3 at home. Their names are Tigger, Thomas, and Sissy. 
Who is your favorite band or musician that you like to listen to?
Ryan: Maroon 5 and John Pardy and Cole Swindell 

What do you like to do on weekends? Ryan:  I play video games, like to watch movies, and hang out with my family. 
What has been your favorite job so far? Ryan: Barista! I like to pour the coffee. 

Is there anything that you are nervous or worried about with working at the Cafe?  Ryan: Being the Money Man (cashier)because working with money is hard.

What are you looking forward to the most about working at Cafe 432?
Ryan: Pouring the coffee for people because it makes me feel good to pour the coffee and hot chocolate. 

What is one thing you have learned so far in C…

THANK YOU Somonauk Education Foundation!

Cafe 432 was jumping for joy last week when we had a very large box delivered to our room. We all made guesses as to what it could be....some thought it was a new vacuum, others thought it was a box filled with hot chocolate, and others thought it was something for our fish tank. When we opened it, we were excited to see that it was the three air pots that we were wanting! These additional air pots allow us to sell and carry more hot chocolate and coffee.

It really truly takes a community to help every child reach his or her fullest potential, which is exactly what S.E.F. is helping us achieve.  This program was built to help support and prepare these students for their futures as an adult and to give them real world practice on real world skills. The Somonauk Education Foundation generously purchased the three additional air pots for the coffee cart. Not only did they purchase the air pots for our coffee cart, but also many other items for other teachers throughout the district.  Ca…

The Cafe is expanding!

During the last couple of weeks, the kids have been learning about the different types of measuring tools that are used in the kitchen. 

We focused on: measuring spoons liquid measuring cupsdry measuring cupsCooking is an important life skill for all of our students to have. Being able to independently make a snack or a meal is HUGE! Plus, there are so many other academic skills that can be worked on while cooking, such as reading and math. We talked about how the three types of measuring tools are all similar, and yet so different! After some practice, they put what they learned into action and made the first Cafe 432 snack, trail mix. This allowed them to practice reading a recipe, and following step by step directions. 
While we were out selling coffee, the kids got to hand out samples to the staff members at all three buildings. This provided the kids with so many opportunities to interact with staff who are not coffee drinkers, which then prompted even more conversation and practice…

Meet the Staff---Eva

As a way for our customers to get to know the students better, I have been interviewing each of the kids. Each month, a different employee will be featured. 
Ms. Eva 

Is there anything that you are nervous or worried about with working at the Cafe?  Eva~ Having to be the cashier and telling people their total correctly.
What are you looking forward to the most about working at Cafe 432? Eva~ "Seeing people get excited when they see us."

What is your favorite color? Eva~ Red 
What is your favorite animal? Eva~ Horses 
What do you like to do on weekends? Eva~ Be at home with my family and being outside.
What has been your favorite job so far? Eva~ Cart operator 
What is one thing that you want people to know about you? Eva~ I like to be silly!

Cafe 432 Jobs

One of the big components of Cafe 432 is learning about what it means to be employable and responsible. Many times we talk about how there will be days where we have to do things at work that we don't want to do or even that we don't like to do, but we still have to just do it.

Since starting this program, it really shows how much goes into starting a business. The kids have been and will be responsible for just about everything. They have created the order form, made labels and put all of our stock away, they've designed the logo and menu, I.O.U. cards, everything has been up to them! They really are stepping it up to get the Cafe off to a good start.

There are four main jobs to make the coffee cart run. While the kids are only assigned one job each week, they will practice and learn each one. 
1. Cart Operator: This person is in charge of transporting the coffee on the cart safely (and in a timely matter) from room-to-room, building-to-building.  They may also assist the …

Practice Makes Perfect!

Today was aBIG day in Cafe 432! We used the grinder to grind up some more coffee beans so we could brew our first pot of coffee! The delicious aroma of fresh brewed coffee must have been lingering in the hallway and teased some taste buds because we sold (gave away) two cups before we even made it to the end of the hallway.  Today's coffee was given out free of charge, as the kids were getting a feel for serving the customers. The plan is for teachers and staff to fill out an order form ahead of time, but since today was a practice round, the kids got to actually take some orders on the spot. Talk about great communication practice (not only with the customer, but also each other)! Tomorrow we will spend some time reflecting on how things went-what worked, and what do we need to practice some more for next time.  Overall, I'd say it was a successful day (also, the fact that we ran out of coffee also leans towards a good day, too!).