A high school coffee shop is run by special needs students who are gaining social and communication skills along with job experience.
At Two Rivers High School, the Raiders Pride Coffee Cafe opened last fall. The cafe serves students and faculty, and has formed a special partnership. Staffed by special education students, they have donated half of this years profits to Mary Ellen Kiel, owner of Sunrise Horse Farm.
Many of the special needs students have volunteered at the horse farm, through the School to Work program.
Karen Lohuis started the cafe, modeling it after an existing program at Sheboygan Falls High School. She is a special education teacher at Two Rivers.
“The best thing is to watch these kids, some of them who didn’t know each other that well, learn to work as a team — it’s amazing!” Lohuis said. “Watching them has been the best thing … that’s the most fun.”