A partnership between Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, Waseka Hospitality Inc., DBA Copper Kitchen, Tio Hatter of St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce, Graceful Spaces LLC, Shae’s Art Shack, and Jules Bistro received a $12,198 Resource Training & Solutions CTE Innovation Grant.
Innovation in education takes many forms, and the recent award of the CTE Innovation Grant by Resource Training & Solutions to Sauk Rapids-Rice High School marks the beginning of an exciting and transformative project. The grant has been allocated to a groundbreaking initiative named 'Brewing Opportunities: A High School Culinary-DCD Coffee Cart Collaboration.' This experiential project aims to create a mobile coffee cart run by students, integrating the culinary arts program and the 9-12 developmentally cognitively disabled (DCD) program.
Mary Levinski is the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Instructor at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School and Project Lead for the new initiative. Mary's main focus for this program is collaboration through mentorship. "The impact of this opportunity will benefit the school, students, and the community as we develop a business model that builds relationship connections through mentoring, job skills, and employability soft skills for those involved. This program's vision will be continuous as we expand the scope each year.”
The collaborative project aims to purchase and operate a mobile coffee cart that will be of use to the Sauk Rapids-Rice school community. The goal is to provide skills training, industry certifications, and hands-on experience for students while fostering an inclusive environment. The project is set to kick off on February 12, 2024 and will initially serve 10-20 students from each program, totaling 30 students. The students will focus on various activities, including menu development, product sourcing, baking, and beverage preparation. Students will enhance their employability skills, and generate revenue through coffee cart sales at school and community events.
The Career and Technical Education Innovation Grants provided by Resource Training & Solutions support opportunities for businesses and schools to collaborate in hands-on CTE exploration, exposure, and experiences for students in grades 7 through 12. Schools partner with local business and industry to apply for matching funds to support these innovative projects.
To address local workforce needs, the project aligns high school education with industry requirements, specifically in culinary arts. Business and organizational partners play a crucial role in the success of this project, offering expertise, mentorship, resource support, and networking opportunities. The collaboration with local businesses enriches the students' learning experience and strengthens ties with the local community.
'Brewing Opportunities' is not just a coffee cart; it's a transformative educational experience that bridges the gap between classroom learning and real-world skills. With the support of the Innovation Grant and local partners, SRRHS is creating a model that empowers students, fosters inclusivity, and prepares the future workforce. This collaboration through mentorship promises lasting impacts on students, the school, and the community, showcasing the power of innovative education.