Shanks’s Superheroes Coffee Cart serves TIS teachers

ALABASTER – A special education class at Thompson Intermediate School recently found a new way to connect with the school’s faculty and staff, as well as develop important life skills, with Shanks’s Superheroes Coffee Cart.

According to TIS special education teacher Chelsea Shanks, her students spent the morning of Friday, Aug. 25 brewing coffee and other hot drinks with Keurig coffee makers, delivering to teachers and faculty and collecting money. Throughout the week, Shanks said her students took orders using Google Forms.

“They’re developing life skills, social skills and communication skills,” Shanks said. “This is good all around.”

Prior to Friday, Shanks said her students assisted TIS Assistant Principal Bart Ferguson build and sand the cart used to deliver the drinks.

Shanks said her class charged one dollar per cup, and plans to let her students choose how to spend the money.

Principal Brent Byars said the coffee cart made a positive impact throughout the school.

“It helps the culture of the school,” Byars said. “It gives the teachers something to look forward to each week.”

While she enjoyed the coffee they brought to her, fourth grade teacher Nikki Hines said her favorite part was meeting the students.

“I love it. It’s a great way to interact with these guys,” Hines said. “Getting coffee delivered to my classroom is amazing, but having these great kids to deliver it is even better. This is wonderful.”

Fourth grade teacher Claire Henderson said the coffee cart got her class excited to connect with Shanks’s class.

“First off, I love the coffee and I love the opportunity for Mrs. Shanks’s class to interact with mine in such a positive way,” Henderson said.

“You made my day with your coffee,” Henderson said to the students.

Fifth grader Omar Suttle said he was having a good time and wants to be a barista when he grows up.

“This is like our very own Starbucks,” Omar said.

Alabaster City Schools Exceptional Education Coordinator Keri Johnson said she is proud of Shanks and everyone who helped her class

“We have the best exceptional education teachers in the state,” Johnson said. “They’re wonderful. They’re always thinking outside the box to do things for our students.”

Shanks said the TIS PTO provided the supplies to make coffee, Home Depot donated the materials to make the cart, Church of the Highlands donated the coffee cups and special aprons were provided by Nelson Print and Promo and Nationwide Insurance: Russ Richardson Agency.

Shanks said her class received over 50 orders before Friday and considers the first day a success.

“For this to be our first day, people are going crazy,” Shanks said.