Panther Growls

Autism students prepare for ‘Coffee Cart’ deliveries on Fridays

Ebony Tatmon, Panther Growls staff member

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The “baristas” of Lufkin High School’s Special Education class will begin a drink delivery service called “Coffee Cart” this Friday.

Lufkin High School Autism Unit teacher Abby McCarty holds a coffee cup in her classroom on Wednesday afternoon. McCarty’s students will be practicing their social skills when they starting delivering items from the “Coffee Cart” to teachers this Friday. (Photo by JORDAN MAXIE/Panther Growls)

Every Friday for the rest of the school year, the students will bring teachers coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate or a bottle of water for just 50 cents. The students may add snacks to the menu later in the year.

Autism Unit teacher Abby McCarty said she got the idea for “Coffee Cart” from someone in her Facebook group who had succeeded with the program and thought the idea would be cool for Lufkin High School.

The goal is to promote awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders, to allow the “baristas” to practice social skills and independence in the business setting, and strengthen their job training skills for post-graduation success.

Community members have donated all of the products that will be sold. McCarty’s seven “baristas” will have their own special jobs, whether it be making the coffee or putting lids on.

“I think they’re going to really like it,” McCarty said. “They’re going to like just not being in class.”

Lufkin High School teachers who want to order a drink each week can do so by filling out a form at www.lufkincoffeecart.weebly.com, where they can even learn to sign “Thank you.” Teachers can pay in advance for the whole semester or by the week.

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Autism students prepare for ‘Coffee Cart’ deliveries on Fridays