A Woodrow coffee cart is brewing bright futures for students with special needs


For many teachers at Woodrow Wilson High School, a highlight of their day comes with a cup of coffee.

Their coffee comes from  the Woodrow Percolators, a coffee cart staffed by students with special needs. From French Vanilla and Caramel flavored coffee to decaf Peach Honey Tea, the students take orders throughout the day and handle all aspects of running the cart.

Breanna Nelson, who supervises the cart as part of a functional life skills class, said the coffee cart benefits the students–and overall school–in multiple ways.

“It’s a lot more than serving coffee because, historically, people with disabilities are not employed at the same rate as people without disabilities,” Nelson said. “So if we can give them the life skills, the communications skills and the experience of working a real job, it will give them a foot in the door toward a job when they graduate.”

The Woodrow Percolators is a recipient of the Junior League of Dallas annual Grants for Innovative Teaching (GFIT) program, which awarded 50 Dallas ISD educators with grants of up to $2,000 each.

Meanwhile, Dallas ISD is joining other districts and school communities in celebrating Inclusive Schools Week Dec. 2–6, which highlights the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to all students — including those who are marginalized due to disability, gender, ethnicity, geography and language.

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