Salem High and Starbucks partnership helping students gain real-world job skills

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

SALEM (WSLS 10) - Salem High School teachers are getting their Friday morning coffee delivered to the classroom.

It's more than a convenience, it's a way to teach a special group of students work skills beyond the classroom.

You know it's Friday when Salem High School Spartans are delivering coffee.

"It feels like an everyday thing now. I mean we do it every week and we get it done," explained Turner Duffy, a student at Salem High

Turner is one of nearly a dozen special education students taking part in the school's education for work classes' partnership with Starbucks.

"Teachers love coffee and so our teachers stop by the local Starbucks regularly," said Principal Scott Habeeb.

That's when Habeeb said workers at the Salem coffee shop asked teachers if they could help.

"This is a segment of our population that at some places might get overlooked, but they become the center of the school on Fridays because they're doing something important. They're delivering coffee", continued Habeeb.

Candice McNewm, a special education teacher, said the impact is obvious.

"It's been quite impressive to see their growth and them to take pride in delivering, not only delivering, but making the coffee," explained McNew.

Starbucks provides everything for the Spartans. The cups, coffee, cream and sugar for free. The students gain even more delivering to more than 60 regulars and last-minute orders every week.

"This allows students who need job skills to learn some very transferable skills that they can actually take into the marketplace with them after high school. This gives students an opportunity to be an integral part of our school life," said Habeeb.

"To see how far they've come from start to finish like from spills and a close to doing it quite well. Yeah, it's impressive," said McNew.

They develop a work ethic and socials skills to take with long after leaving high school.

'It feels good. It's all teamwork," said Turner.

This is the first full school year of the Spartans-Starbucks partnership.