Morning Brew for the Crew: Students with special needs get real-world opportunitiesMorning Brew for the Crew:

MORNING BREW FOR THE CREW: Students in the SDP2 class work together to make sure the staff stays caffeinated, all while learning real-world and social skills. Photo courtesy of Matthew Cyr.

By Katie Bernardo and Abigail Kim

Morning Brew for the Crew is an on-campus student-run coffee cart service led by students in the Special Education department. Specifically, students in our Special Day Program 2 (SDP2) work to serve teachers and administrators coffee every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from zero to second period.

Students who take part in our SDP2 program have moderate disabilities and may require additional support. This program provides more opportunities for one-on-one attention or specialized instruction. Morning Brew for the Crew offers a special opportunity for students to practice social skills outside of the classroom.

Teachers and staff have a variety of items to choose from including coffee, tea, and hot chocolate with additional flavors. Morning Brew for the Crew recently transitioned to a Starbucks coffee blend with flavors that include Granada Caramel, Scottie Vanilla, and Highlander Hazelnut. There is also the option of Zelzah Black coffee for those who prefer their coffee without flavoring. The names of each flavor are a testament to the students in our SDP2 program’s school pride. For the non-coffee drinkers, Morning Brew for Crew also provides hot chocolate as well as a variety of tea, with flavors varying from Lindley Green Tea, Calming Chamomile, and Breakfast Black Tea.

Morning Brew for the Crew students take orders on the spot in front of the main office as well as taking orders online. Online orders are hand delivered during their requested times.
Students in our SDP2 program can participate in many different roles, including order taking, coffee prep/brewing, label writing, flavor station, latte states, delivery, cashier, and cleaning crew. Students rotate positions every shift to immerse themselves in all aspects of the program.

By participating in Morning Brew for the Crew, the students also have the opportunity to greet and interact with the staff members.

“I like coming in and working with the program. I like doing the coffee deliveries,” senior Amir said.

Amir’s favorite coffee flavor is Scottie Vanilla.

Morning Brew for the Crew was originally initiated in December 2022 by special education teacher Jozelda Delos-Reyes, who created the opportunity in order to help her students get valuable hands-on learning and practicing work skills, as well as give back to their community. Morning Brew for the Crew’s main goal is to teach the students in our SDP2 program vital skills that will be useful post-high school.

“Participation in our work program is important for our students with disabilities as it helps them develop essential work skills, promotes social and emotional development, gains real-world experience, and fosters community integration. It is a valuable investment in their future success and independence,” paraprofessional in the SDP2 program Matthew Cyr said.

By participating in Morning Brew for the Crew, the students get the chance to practice problem-solving, time management, communication, and teamwork. These are all skills that are crucial for working environments. By practicing these skills, the students in our SDP2 program are able to build their work ethic and get used to a real-world work environment. On top of this, Morning Brew for the Crew is also an opportunity to give back to the Granada Hills Charter community.

“I like helping people. People ask very nicely. They’ve been very nice and kind to us,” freshman Shawn said.

Many students in the SPD2 program are not able to get the same work opportunities as students in the general education program; because of this, Morning Brew for the Crew is more helpful than ever.

Not only can this extra-curricular help these students prepare for work in the future, but they are also able to build social skills.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper