Marlborough – In the spirit of community building and sharing warmth, the Raymond C. Richer Elementary School has just implemented a new program called “Coffee Cubs.” The program is a partnership between the Connections Classroom at Richer, a substantially separate classroom focusing on life skills for students with varying abilities, and Marlborough High School students. They have come together to serve coffee to teachers and staff on a weekly basis. At the Dec. 22 launch, the Coffee Cubs served hot chocolate and cookies to a receptive crowd.
The partnership goes beyond the school walls. Brew on the Grid, a coffee shop opening at the R.K. Centre in Marlborough, provides the coffee. Owners Frank and Linda Peace who attended the launch stated, “We think it’s a great idea bringing different groups of students together, and we’re happy to introduce our brand to the Marlborough community.”
Kim Feehan, Richer’s Connections teacher, Sarah Caliri, speech and language pathologist, and Lynne Hurley, occupational therapist, came up with the idea to help elementary students learn functional life skills, including counting money, sorting items, and communicating with others.
According to the teachers, this partnership provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their abilities to staff and age peers in a safe and respectful place. The partnership also provides the high school students an opportunity to volunteer and work with younger students.
“I am so glad that I am able to participate in this program because I want to work with kids,” stated Emily Morais, a high school senior.
“I love spreading the Christmas spirit and kindness—the students are so cute,” added Kendra O’Reilly, another senior volunteer.
“This is an exciting program for Richer Elementary School,” commented Dr. Robert J. Skaza, school principal. “It is an extension of a successful program at the [1Lt. Charles W.] Whitcomb Middle School with their Panther Café and the high school with their Caravan Café. We are proud of our Connection students who are part of our vibrant learning community.”