Monday mornings are busy days for Amanda Sebastian’s class at Salem High School. It’s the day her students get the opportunity to put their job skills to the test with Mane Mugs. Mane Mugs is a program that was started in 2018. SHS teachers can order coffee or tea and students practice taking, making, and delivering the orders around school.
Sebastian said Principal Troy Albert had seen a news article about a classroom at another school that had a coffee shop and had proposed the idea to her. She thought her students would love it and it would be a good fundraiser for them.
“We serve coffee, tea, and hot chocolate every Monday morning,” she said. Teachers place their orders through a Google Form document that goes to Sebastian electronically. All orders must be placed by 9 a.m.
The money earned goes to purchase more coffee supplies, as well as classroom experiences for the students. Last year, the money paid for the end of the year field trip to Big Splash. It also is used to purchase ingredients for cooking when the class does home economic lessons, as well as when the class makes lunches for Custodian Appreciation Day and Cafeteria Worker Appreciation Day.
“Our first year, we used the profits to donate a goat and two chickens to a family in a developing country,” she said. “We have also donated $120 worth of groceries to the Washington County Food Bank.”
Sebastian said she hopes students learn job skills they can take with them after they graduate.
“They read order forms, make the appropriate beverage, use proper hygiene/sanitation practices, include additions such as cream, sugar, or biscotti, fulfill requests for to-go cups, and deliver orders around the school building,” she said. “Students also retrieve empty cups later in the day and wash them. They help collect, count, and deposit the money, as well. They take real pride in their work and enjoy making deliveries to our regulars.”
Sebastian said the students enjoy the activity and using classroom cash to purchase beverages once all the orders have been delivered. She added that they contribute ideas about other beverages or additions to offer.
“We get wonderful feedback from our teachers,” she said. “They enjoy seeing my students’ friendly faces and the extra caffeine boost!”