West Fargo school coffee shop brings together students of all abilities who run it together

At West Fargo High School, a new coffee shop is bringing students of varying abilities together.

West Fargo High School students are busy making coffee and hot cocoa for their fellow classmates as part of a special program that brings together students with disabilities with those who don't to run a new coffee shop together. The peer-to-peer program is now hosting a GoFundMe to buy a cappuccino machine.

WEST FARGO — After yet another March snowstorm, students arrived for a late start at West Fargo High School Wednesday, March 22. Fortunately, the concession stand's aluminum gates opened, and caffeine was on the way to help jump-start the day.

A concession stand that would usually sell popcorn and nachos is also home to the Special Education Coffee Shop.

The peer-to-peer program in West Fargo pairs students with special needs or disabilities with students without, all working together as a team.

"This is a a great thing to have in this world," West Fargo student Ian Schatschneider said.

Students are taking orders and making frothy coffee drinks for dozens of students


"I do this at home, too, so I'm pretty good at it," Schatschneider said proudly.

The students lined up for a little energy boost.

"I think it just shows that we can just all work together and just all be friends," West Fargo student Liv Mollet said.

It really is a win. Students learn math and social skills, not to mention some common sense lessons to take into life after high school.

"I just think of all the opportunities students have after school, like when they're adults and how many different people they're going to be working with, and this just gives them some experience with that," West Fargo special education teacher Holly Friedrich said.

The Special Education Coffee Shop is looking to expand and buy a cappuccino machine. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise the $5,000 needed to turn this Packer Pride project into the best coffee house in town.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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