Business is brewing at the ‘Bobcat Baristas’ program at Louisa Middle School

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – A new program at Louisa County Middle School is helping teach life lessons to students and spreading joy to staff.

The Bobcat Baristas program is a student-run coffee business run by Louisa Middle School students.

Lou Hurst, a special education teacher at LMS, helped get the program going last year thanks to a grant.

“It’s a wonderful program that teaches them life skills they can take into high school and later on in life,” Hurst told 8News.

Every week, students are in charge of taking orders, preparing coffee and delivering it to staff around the school. Hurst says it teaches them skills they wouldn’t be able to learn in a classroom.

“They learn communication skills,” she said. “Customer service skills. Interacting with other adults and students in the school. Making money, change.”

Each specially ordered cup is poured, stirred and hand-delivered with a smile. Hurst says it’s helped many of her students grow more confident.

“They feel like they’re accomplishing something when they make someone else happy,” she said.

A similar project exists at Louisa High School where these middle school students will be able to continue to work on their barista skills.

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