Virtual Coffee Cart Keeps Learning Going

Virtual Coffee Cart Keeps Learning Going
Posted on 04/21/2020
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Coffee cart goes virtualBefore remote learning Brianna, a freshman at Lakota East, would work on vocational skills by taking a coffee cart around to staff throughout the school building.

Creative new ways to deliver instruction are emerging and now, just like so much other learning, the coffee cart that Brianna and her regular customers looked forward to each morning has gone virtual.

When East Principal Suzanna Davis saw a tweet that showed Brianna enjoying an online morning meeting with her teacher and classmates, she replied and mentioned doing a virtual coffee cart.

The idea caught on, with other customers asking to be part of the virtual coffee cart because they missed more than just the coffee Brianna delivered.

“Brianna doesn't just bring coffee, she brings a lot of joy and happiness as well,” said teacher Katelyn Medaris. “Brianna is known for wearing a yellow shirt every day and is often compared to sunshine. And when I shared the news with Brianna that we were going to have a virtual coffee cart, she was so excited -- she really missed seeing the LEHS staff.”

Medaris, an intervention specialist, shares a special connection with Brianna – they both are in their first year at the Lakota East main campus. (Brianna is a freshman but attends the main campus.) The coffee cart has been up and running at Lakota East for years, and has helped both Medaris and Brianna meet other staff and students.

“While we are unable to delivery coffee virtually, we are still able to engage in meaningful conversations and relationship building,” said Medaris, who sets up the virtual coffee cart every other Friday. “You can see the joy in Brianna's face and hear it in her voice during the coffee cart. The same goes for our coffee cart customers as well. Some have even said that it is the best part of their week.”

The virtual cart is just one way that Medaris connects with her students. “I zoom with most of my students at least two times a week, if not three times. I love that we are able to continue building and developing our relationships and working on goals in a remote environment. I am so proud of my students and how they have transitioned to remote learning.”

Because her students work so hard on their goals via the traditional paper/pencil activities and video instruction that Medaris provides, she tries to make her Zoom meetings as fun as possible (while still working on skills related to their goals). They play games like virtual BINGO to review skills like community signs and how much money you need to give to pay for a purchase. She also has special guests join their Zoom meetings. Medaris’ mom is even going to join a Zoom soon to do a mock interview with a student.

Medaris is proud of how everyone is coming together to keep the learning going. “My students’ parents are extremely supportive, and I am so proud of my students and how they have transitioned to remote learning.”