Brewing up change

Freedom high schools new coffee shop


April English assists freshman John Nelson with measuring flour as sophomore Micha Henley works with another student behind them to make pastries for Cafe 116.

JoAnn Sharpless, Managing Editor (Online)

There’s a new idea brewing at Freedom Area High school. This new programs goal is to help students prepare for life outside of high school. The program has nothing to do with sports, or other clubs already found at Freedom. This new, exciting addition to Freedom history is Cafe 116.

Cafe 116 is a coffee shop that special education teacher April English is trying to establish into the high school. This shop is located in Room 116 and would be run by students, along with Ms. English. In the class, students will help make and serve coffee.

The cafe will be open to teachers and other faculty members. To order at the cafe, teachers must complete a google form and turn it in by Thursday morning that week to place their order. From there, students will fill each order and deliver them to the teachers on Friday.

Not only will the cafe offer coffee to teachers, but it also will act as a student store on Red days during third block. Students can look forward to being able to buy drinks, snacks and gum from the store while supporting other students in their grade.

The main goal of Cafe 116 is to help better the communication skills of students and teach them how to take pride in their work, while also helping to bring together our school and community.

English got her inspiration from visiting a coffee shop in North Carolina that was run by people with intellectual disorders. After being inspired by that, she created Cafe 116, where students now have the opportunity to bring people together and have pride in their work.

I visited a coffee shop in Wilmington, NC called Bitty and Beau’s. It was opened by a mom of two children with down syndrome named Bitty and Beau. The coffee shop is run by people with intellectual disabilities. There are also other schools in the area that run a similar coffee shop,”English said.

The Cafe plans on doing a test run on March 29 where they will feature Starbucks’ Pike Place coffee, and Tazo Green Tea. High school history teacher Nathaniel Langelli was the first customer of Cafe 116.

“I think that the program is a great thing, it gives students the opportunity to learn new business skills and personal skills, and it gives me coffee which makes me happy,” Langelli said.   

Look out for more news on Cafe 116, and come down and support fellow students.