Special Needs Students Bring Award to CHS Coffee Shop

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

April 20, 2010

A local coffee shop run by special needs students has won its first award.

Virginia Tech is honoring the Black Knights Coffee Shop at Charlottesville High School with the Excellence in Education Award to recognize creative learning initiatives.

"I learned how to count the money good," student Asia Washington said.

"I enjoy collecting money," student Derrick Cox said.

Both Derrick and Asia have more than money on their minds. He wants to start a career in law enforcement, and she wants to become a special education teacher, goals they say are now achievable because of this award-winning program.

Not only is the hands-on experience teaching students life skills, but program organizer Ellen Vigour said the coffee shop is creating a buzz with CHS staff.

"Two doors will open, one on each side of the hallway, because they hear the cart coming down the hall and they see my students," Vigour said. "The interactions between the teachers has really made things wonderful for our school as a whole."

For now, Derrick and Asia will continue the daily grind, making and selling coffee now with hopes that the experience will make a difference in their futures.

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