Danielle Kovach and Patricia Pietrzak
Kovach and Pietrzak’s winning program, “Café Kids,” is designed to combine life skills and communication instruction with an underlying academic focus for students with special needs. Second and third-grade students at Tulsa Trail Elementary School will learn various life skills such as cooking a meal for themselves and others as well as following recipe directions using specific measurements. They will create menus, flyers and commercials to advertise the Café and a recipe book with their favorite dishes. Students will develop their social, math, technology, and speech skills by communicating effectively with patrons and peers. They will involve the community, using podcasts and a website for the Café and create budgets and count change. Once a month, members of the community, including business owners, elected officials, local law enforcement and family members will be invited to dine at Café Kids. The students will run the Café just like a regular restaurant with each child being responsible for a specific job such as reading the menu to patrons, cooking and serving food and taking a weekly inventory of supplies. Kovach and Pietrzak hope the program will take education beyond the textbook for students with special needs and help them become productive community members in the future.