Teacher Starts 'The Grizzly Bean' Coffee Cart To Empower Special Needs Students

Her goal is to use funds from the business to start a similar program at another school.

There's a new place to get coffee at Grand Oaks High School in Texas, and it's not the school canteen or the neighborhood coffee shop. Teacher Shelby Winder, and her Life Skills class, have started a coffee cart called The Grizzly Bean. 

This is the first year that Winder is teaching the class, which includes "students with significant cognitive impairment in conjunction with adaptive disabilities."

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The traveling coffee cart is meant to help empower those students with special needs.

Winder started the coffee cart by purchasing supplies with her first-year teacher's salary.

Her colleague, Chris Field, shared the story on his Facebook page and Love What Matters. He explained that on Fridays the cart travels around the school with the students, and they take teachers' coffee orders. It teaches the students valuable life, business and communication skills.

"Most importantly, this would allow the students to practice their social skills, communication, working through their shyness, and even learning how to run a simple business by calculating their expenses and profits," Field wrote. 

The students have been hard at work with The Grizzly Bean coffee cart for a few weeks. Winder announced on Facebook that the coffee cart "opened" on August 24 and the first day was a huge success. 

After the story of The Grizzly Bean went viral, Winder took to Facebook to thank everyone for their support. "I am overwhelmed by the response that The Grizzly Bean has received," she wrote. "I am in the process of trying to read and respond to everyone who has reached out to me!  I am working alongside administration to answer some of y'alls questions regarding donations, interviews, etc. I'll be in contact soon!"

She explained that her student baristas were very excited about some of the news coverage done at the school. "We have 14 very, very excited baristas! So excited, I witnessed tears of joy when we told them [about the media coverage]! All Grizzly Bean recognition goes to our 14 students who had the excitement and drive to make The Grizzly Bean come alive!"

There is potential for another The Grizzly Bean. Winder's goal was to use some of the profits from her class's business to provide seed money for another school to start their own coffee cart. 

(H/T: PopSugar)

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