Here to brighten your day
By Kacy Rohr/ Tammy Swanson
KHS Special Ed Teacher/KSD Food Service Director.
A group of students in the Kewaunee School District (KSD) have been involved in a new and exciting opportunity that helps bring breakfast, business and employability skills together in a meaningful real-life experience.
This all started when the Kewaunee School District was named a recipient of a 2023 HPS Members First Grant award.
HPS is a group purchasing organization that serves the needs of more than 4,300 members in 33 states.
Member-owned and operated since 1949, HPS aspires to help communities by helping their members fulfill their missions.
This grant program was established by their board of directors to help fund HPS member projects that have a measurable and positive impact on the core groups they serve for the needs of their schools.
From past experiences with coffee delivery on a much smaller scale Tammy Swanson our Food Services Director felt this grant would give the district a chance to expand opportunities for our special education students to increase their employability skills. The Kewaunee grant proposal for a coffee cart was a great fit for the grant criteria and our food service department was awarded $2,500.00 for the purchase of a coffee cart and supplies to start the program.
Over the summer Mrs. Swanson and Kacy Rohr, special education teacher, met to discuss what the coffee cart could look like and how it would run.
Since it’s difficult for the teachers at the grade school to come to the high school for coffee and other breakfast items it was decided that the new cart would be a great way to bring those items to them and that the students would take ownership of the cart and name it.
After much discussion the students decided to name the cart, “The Morning Storm Cart.”
The group’s mission is that they are “Here to brighten your day.”
So far, the cart has gone beyond expectations and has been a huge success all around.
Each morning students in Mrs. Rohr’s classroom are responsible for filling the cart with coffee and other specialty drinks, as well as hot breakfast items like breakfast sandwiches or breakfast pizza, yogurt parfaits and the staff favorite donuts or cinnamon rolls on Fridays.
Along with their teacher, students embark on their daily route through the middle school, elementary school and Kewaunee High School (KHS) offices and the district office.
Staff looks forward to the daily visits and many have become regular customers.
Staff can pay cash for their items or charge it to their lunch account.
Students take care of adding the total and making change.
When the route is finished students clean up the items, return them to the KHS Kitchen and restock items for the next morning.
Not only does the cart provide a valuable service for the staff, it also provides an opportunity for the students that run it to gain and practice their employability skills which include: social skills, math skills, organization skills and communication skills.
Students in the KHS Technology Education Department have also been involved in helping make some improvements to the cart by creating a shelf to hold a laptop for charging items to staff accounts.
The growth students have shown since the start of the Morning Storm Cart has been exciting to observe.
Staff and students responsible for the Morning Storm Cart are always finding ways to make their services better based on staff feedback and will continue to explore new opportunities to learn while providing a service to others.