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Judson Middle School students open coffee shop, gain real-life skills

Middle school students in Longview are brewing up skills in their brand new coffee shop!

LONGVIEW, Texas — The Judson Middle School (JMS) Perks Café  is officially open for business.

It's a new coffee shop entirely run by students to serve their teachers.

"I love seeing the smiles on all of the teachers when they come in," 7th grader Kamdyn Scott said. 

Scott works as the coffee shops order taker and cashier. She said the coffee shop is not just about serving their teachers, she said she is learning money management and counting skills.

Other students, like Isaiah Nelson, said this coffee shop it helping him become a better communicator. 

"I can communicate more and better with people," Nelson said. "Like in the morning when teachers come or in the afternoon they come and they order and we start talking about their day."

The idea for the coffee shop came after teachers at Judson Middle School were brainstorming ideas to help students get prepared for their first job.

Most teens get their first job at sixteen. Those jobs are usually at food establishments or as customer service representatives and the leadership team felt a coffee shop was a low-cost business that would help the students get that real-life experience.

Assistant principal Mary Taylor said students feel like this coffee shop is their business and have been really putting their heart into it.

"They are so happy to serve the teachers like when the teachers walk up they can't wait to greet them and to serve them," Taylor said. "It's been a great experience all the way around."

Principal Melanie Pondant said the students held a soft opening two weeks ago and they have made the project stand so much that the administration can already see the future of this program

"This is something we are going to build on and really morph into that's kind of what we like to do at Judson, we start with a small idea and it just kind of morphs into bigger and bigger, Pondant said. "We'll carry this through our math classes, with financial literacy, we'll carry it into our international baccalaureate with the service projects that well do through it. its gonna touch on every single thing that we do here academically and the life skill that they are gonna get with the social skill."

The coffee shop is open for teachers and administrators at Longview ISD. The coffee served is Keurig based and they have some baked goods in stock as well.

The students are in charge of all aspects of the store. They are managers, they handle money, they place the orders for more items, they make the coffee and clean the counters.

The money that is made is used to keep the store stocked.