Cougar Café Comes to Croatan

Posted on November 3, 2011


Walking down the hallway towards Highway 24, you can smell freshly brewed coffee, intensifying your hunger and thirst. The Cougars have brought a café to room 507 (the old ALC room), where occupational prep students serve teachers coffee. Since October 17, the class has reported to two jobs: the job of being a full time student, while also improving career skills by managing a coffee shop.

The Occupational Preparation program “is a transition-focused curriculum framework that includes extensive career preparation,” according to the NC Department of Public Instruction.

“Occupational preparation students I and II must participate in 300 hours of in-school experience as fulfillment for their study,” says Mr. Jendro, the Occupational Prep teacher. “We got the idea for the coffee shop fromEastHendersonHigh Schoolin East Flat Rock, NC.”

Due to funding issues, Mr. Jendro reports to Croatan to teach the student that are enrolled in the program here. Last year, all students from Croatan, West Carteret, andEast Carterettook a bus to West where they participated in a workshop class.

Senior, Emily Farrington, thought the idea of a coffee shop in school sounded promising, but wondered why the Occupational Prep students could only serve teachers. According toNorth Carolinalaw, food/drink cannot be sold until the last student in the last lunch has been served a nutritional meal. Therefore, it is not just a school rule, like many students think.

The students enrolled in the Occupational Prep program have learned how to make coffee and smoothies to satisfy the teachers. Currently, the menu includes (hot and iced) mocha, caramel, and vanilla coffee. Teachers have been sent emails from Mr. Jendro with the updates on the menu.

The shop is open from 8:30 to 10:15 for Croatan’s faculty and staff. However, since October 27, the students have been rolling a cart a cart of coffee to Bogue Sound Elementary, where they served the teachers there as well.

The Coffee shop is mutually beneficial for the teachers who need their coffee, and the students who receive the benefits of their teacher being wired for the class period. Not only does it help teachers and students, but the students enrolled in the Occupational Prep classes profit in more ways than one. They are getting their 300 hours accomplished, and earning experience.

Reported by Kayeleigh Hardy