My students have multiple disabilities including Functional Mental Disabilities, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Seizure Disorder and others. One of our many goals is to work on functional skills that the students will use when they exit school. Because my students have difficulty generalizing information to other environments, we try to incorporate instruction into multiple settings. One example, we teach caring for laundry. We learn to wash, dry, fold, iron etc. in our classroom. I give homework and the students wash laundry at home and we take a field trip to a laundry mat to clean laundry with a different type of machine.
What I would like to purchase with the grant money would be items to have a "coffee business" at school. This business would teach multiple extremely important skills to my students, including handling money, counting back change, filling orders, using manners with customers, preparing and ordering items for the future, and the basics of customer service.
One of the goals for my students is to get them employed in a paid position. If not in a paid position, then in a supported employment or volunteer position. This job would provide valuable skills and practice for both me and for our job/transition coach, to know if a paid position is an option or if we should be looking for more of a supported position.
I would purchase a commercial Keurig, a cart with a divider to hold coffee cups, disposable cups and lids, plastic containers to hold K-cups (safe from pests), multiple types of K-cups, creamer and sugar.
My students would offer a coffee service for staff at DCHS and possibly Central Office (since we're directly across the street). Staff would order coffee type, add ins (creamer, sugar) through a computer system (Possibly Google docs) and my students would fill the order and deliver to the classroom or office at a designated time. The cost per cup is approximately 78 cents but we would charge $1 so that we would have funds to purchase more supplies and make the business self-supporting. My students are unable to make change for $1 for would be able to count out bills to make change for $5 or $10.
This grant would provide an environment for my students to have a "job" that they could then build on when they graduate. They could use this as a reference for a future job or for future skilled employment.
I would be glad to provide more specifics if needed, but I hope that you will find that my students are absolutely amazing! They deserve the opportunity to excel where and when able.
Thank you for your consideration.