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Local business expands coffee program for special education students

Luna Coffee Roasters, based in De Pere, provides schools with everything they need to set up a mini-coffee shop.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 3:17 PM CST
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - A local business is growing its coffee program for special education students.

Luna Coffee Roasters, based in De Pere, provides schools with everything they need to set up a mini-coffee shop.

One of them is Syble Hopp School, where students Marshawn Gryer and Michael Dury are ready to grind some coffee.

After brewing a fresh pot, they’re set to make their weekly rounds selling coffee to teachers and staff.

This popular coffee program became part of the curriculum five years ago.

“It’s awesome, yeah the kids absolutely love it, staff loves it, they look forward to it,” says Syble Hopp teacher Jayme Vertz.

And it’s all thanks to Luna Coffee Roasters, which provided the school with a grinder, a brewer and a continuous supply of coffee.

“We wanted to be one of our fundamental things that we are involved in the community, try to bring about positive change,” explains Mark Patel, Luna Coffee Roasters owner.

The partnership with Syble Hopp was just the beginning.

“Washington Middle School has a Cafe Spark that does a similar program and we supply them coffee and made a label for them, and then we have one starting at Luxemburg-Casco next month,” says Patel.

For special education students, the coffee program is priceless.

“Using social skills, they’re asking teachers if they’d like a cup of coffee, doing money exchanges, they’re doing a bunch of different skills that we would hope that they would be able to have in the future,” says Vertz.

With the money they make from selling their coffee, the students at Syble Hopp have been able to help families in need during Christmas and buy supplies for blankets for students undergoing surgeries.

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