Common Grounds coffee shop helps special needs students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Working at Common Grounds coffee shop helps these special needs students learn what is like to stand on common ground with their peers.

Gabby Cruz, Life Skills student told News 2, “I put my thing on this, and I make a cup of coffee.”

Cruz works along side other life skills students at Independence High School.

Dawn Schwartz, special education teacher, told News 2, “To be able to extend learning to my students for math language, social skills, and customer service skills to expand a lot of their vocational training to get them ready for jobs after high school.”

Common Grounds opens early in the morning before school and during the extended beak between classes.  High School students and teachers can buy a variety of coffees for the bargain price of one dollar or seventy five cents if you bring your own cup.

“They love it, everyone loves it, they really enjoy being able to make the coffee taking the money making sure everyone gets to say good morning say thank you to all the students coming in and out of the shop,” said Schwartz.

Denny Viteri, Life Skills student told News 2, “My job is say hello and goodbye, to make the customer feel good and enjoy so they can come back.”

With training and supervision the coffee shop is operated by life skills students it’s funded by a grant from the Spring Hill Kiwanis group.

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