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High School Coffee Shop Serving Up Life Lessons - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

High School Coffee Shop Serving Up Life Lessons

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Many of us need a jolt from our morning cup of Joe to get motivated. At Charlottesville High School, there's a coffee shop that's hitting the spot for teachers and students alike. That's because it's serving up more than just caffeine, it's teaching life skills.

The Black Knight Coffee Shop at Charlottesville High School started with a grant from the Charlottesville School Board for a teacher who wanted to boost the morale of students and staff.  For the teachers, it is coffee delivered right to their classroom.

"Each day my students set up the cart with fresh coffee, muffins and scones, put on the uniforms, and they walk through the school to teacher's rooms and serve fresh coffee and muffins to the teachers," said Ellen Vigour, a Charlottesville High School special education teacher.

For the students who run the store, it is an opportunity to learn some important life skills. The program provides students with moderate to severe disabilities a chance to plan, shop, bake, and sell.

"My students are learning how to count dollar bills in order to increase their purchasing skills and their understanding of how money works," Vigour said.

Then, students can work in or potentially run a business. Students like Max, who prefers decaf.

"I always love coffee, not regular, it makes me go wild," he said.

He's also partial to cookies and shortbread. "These are my favorite food ever," he said.

For Max and his peers, the classroom has turned into the Black Knights Coffee Shop.

"I always love the coffee shop because it's fun," he said.

"This has just been a wonderful thing, we've been very successful, the teachers love it when they hear the cart rolling down the hall they jump out of their seat and meet us at the door," Vigour said.

The Black Knights Coffee Shop has become so successful that Vigour was able to surprise the school board Thursday night by giving back the exact $3,285 of the original start-up grant.

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