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Student coffee, snack carts show teacher appreciation

Student coffee, snack carts show teacher appreciation
Irwin Goldberg
Students bring coffee and snacks to teachers with a snack cart

Claudia Brehse is expecting to receive a much-needed boost Friday.

A coffee cart will come right up to her classroom door, filled with freshly brewed coffee and snacks.

“It’s wonderful. Everybody’s so excited,” the art teacher said of the cart. “It’s usually at the end of the day when everybody needs a little coffee or a treat.”

The cart, which will be operated by Linden Avenue Middle School’s FLEX class, is one way in which the school’s students are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. On Tuesday, National Teacher Day, members of the Student Council wheeled a cart around the school giving out cans of soda, water and cookies.

Student Council Treasurer Analiyah Otero said the middle school teachers are “underappreciated, for all they do for us. Doing stuff like this really shows how much we care about them.”

The coffee cart Friday will teach as it aids the teachers. Lauren Cerulo, who teaches the FLEX class, said the lesson helps the students practice job and communication skills. Though she brews the coffee, the students make promotional signs and handle the actual serving and interaction with teachers.

Cerulo said the self-contained special education class provides the coffee cart at least twice a year.

Ahead of the day, Cerulo sends an email to all teachers to see who may want to participate. She then prints fake money and leaves it in the teachers’ mailboxes so they can pay the students.

“It’s like a coffee shop on a cart,” she said. “They have to go up to them and say, ‘Hello, would you like some coffee? What would you like in the coffee?’

“We have creamer and sugar and things like that. They have to make it for them and hand it to them,” Cerulo said. “It’s really about practicing social skills and work skills.”

And for the teachers, it’s about that extra dose of caffeine at the end of a week celebrating their efforts. As the students wheeled around their drink cart Tuesday, a free can of soda brought a wide grin to more than one teacher’s face.

“Their happiness makes it worthwhile doing all this for them,” Otero said. “It’s very beautiful.”