The JCFS operates on the principle that a therapeutic environment for students requires meaningful participation from everyone, including the students themselves. Through collaboration, our school job program provides school-based opportunities for students to gain work experience and develop job skills.
This year, students from the program took their vision of starting a coffee cart and made it a reality. They wrote a business plan, developed an interest survey for potential customers and came up with a clever name–School Grounds. They even created a logo for t-shirts and coffee cups, and kept tabs for loyal customers. Richard and Benzi, along with other peers, provided attentive customer service and delicious coffee every morning in the lobby of the Joy Faith Knapp Children’s Center. Richard also made special coffee deliveries to office staff on a regular basis.
Working together at the School Grounds coffee cart has helped Richard, a student at the JCFS Therapeutic Day School, and Benzi, a student at our Therapeutic Yeshiva, develop stronger skills in math, communication, and much more. Richard and Benzi receive individualized academic and behavioral supports to help them reach their full potential.
“This has been an amazing experience for our students. I wanted to create a project that would excite them, and would help boost their self-esteem and build confidence. I am very proud of them, and I know they are proud of their work this year,” said Carrie Patterson, Work Development and Employment Specialist at JCFS’s Therapeutic Day School, who also oversees the school’s job program.
“Our students’ creativity has touched the community. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported their vision,” adds Sandra Spicher, Principal of the Therapeutic Day School.
The Therapeutic Day School is designed to meet the needs of children that struggle in a typical classroom environment. By providing behavioral and emotional support, students are given the skills to succeed both inside and out of the classroom while gaining a sense of belonging and community.
The JCFS family of services works to strengthen lives throughout our community. Your generous gift allows us to continue helping over 30,000 people in the Chicago area each year. Contributions of any amount are impactful and appreciated, as they support a wide range of programs, and will go to help others like Richard and Benzi. Thanks so much for joining with us in this work.