Coffee and math lessons

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Nick Shafer has never tried coffee, but he sure knows how to serve it.

Twice a week since October, the sophomore at Friend Public Schools has been serving beverages and other goodies to faculty and staff as part of his specialized math class on a coffee cart.

Teacher Anna Runge came up with the concept, which she previously used at Millard South years before.

“His math class is doing the coffee cart,” Runge said. “That way he can calculate money and get a social aspect out of it, too.”

Before starting the coffee cart this past fall, Shafer and Runge sent out a survey to staff to see if they would be interested in the idea, setting prices and what all would be included in the cart. Then they set to work on making it happen.

Now every Monday and Friday, staff members can expect Shafer to roll into their classroom with piping hot coffee, a variety of sodas and snacks.

Once a month, staff get a special treat like a Krispy Kreme donut, Panera Bread Bagel or like last week, a Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

Staff members hand their total to Shafer and he calculates the amount to give back. He receives help from fifth grader Kellen Vossler, who serves items while Shaffer calculates.

“I look forward to doing it and saying hi to people,” Shafer said.

When the activity first began, Shafer was borrowing a cart from the school cafeteria. But now, through a mini grant given by the Friend Foundation, he chose his own cart to use, a shiny, sturdy metal cart that he totes around.

The Friend Foundation donated $500 to the project after Runge and Shafer filled out an application with objectives of the project, how many students it would affect and more. 

Shafer said the teachers seem to enjoy it and it has helped him get some career ideas and develop skills to the future.

He will continue doing the coffee cart until he graduates in two years and after that, Runge supposes Vossler will take it over.

But right now, they are focused on calculations and getting the coffee to those who need it, one cup (or cinnamon roll) at a time.

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