In addition to providing a quick breakfast every Friday morning to staff and students at the Belmonte Middle School, an in school cafe serves success to special ed students working there.
The Cafe is run by students of the Sachem Buddies program, and the goal is to provide a real life interaction between the seven special education studentsw and the school’s general population. Staff and students can buy the baked good upstairs, or call on the class phone or email for delivery.
There are ten regular education student mentors who help when there are needs such as a cash register malfunction or low inventory. The students in Lauren Kulakowski’s life skills classroom have become more structured around practical skills and independence. The students are at different levels on the autism spectrum. and teachers wanted an activity that would reflect real life more than a shared class.
The Cafe is very successful. Much of the weekly inventory is donated by KIane’s Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, and Bruegger’s Bagels. The chaotic atmosphere suits the program because it is challenging for the special education students to engage in social skills and practical abilities when doing customer service.