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Bennington Brew Crew: teaching life skills to high school students

Posted at 4:41 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 17:41:02-04

Every day at Bennington High School starts with a fresh cup of coffee, personally delivered by the Bennington Brew Crew. The three girls in this club are part of a life skills class for special education students. "We needed to find something that would help the girls really develop some great skills,” said Mindy Andurs, 9th grader special education teacher.

Mindy Andrus, along with teacher Jamie Schleifer, came up with the Bennington Brew Crew to not only teach the girls how to make and serve coffee, but how to more confidently interact with other teachers. “I think most of them can probably make coffee on their own but getting to interact with the girls and see what they do, they really enjoy that too,” said 11th and 12th grade special education teacher, Jamie Schleifer.

The teachers enjoy the daily interactions as much as the girls do. "I like to see people's smiles,” said 9th grader Chayse Ridder-Koch. "To see their faces when we give it to them,” said 11th grader, Tessa Moldenhauer. 

This program has done a lot more for the girls than the teachers ever hoped. For 10th grader, Ashlyn Schauss, joining the club made coming to school easier. “My first year I was so sad, I was going to not go to junior year here next year and I started crying and then I got together with Ms. Fagan to talk about it,” she said.

From the beginning of the year to now, this program has helped all the girls to grow. “I’ve seen a lot of confidence in the girls, I’ve seen their confidence grow, they're so happy and they have a lot of fun with it,” said Andurs. But the girls aren't the only ones benefiting. ”It makes my day easier when they come ready to go and they're excited about it, makes me excited about working here,” said Schleifer.

The Bennington Brew Crew says they were pleasantly surprised at the amount of coffee orders they receive every day. They serve about 30 teachers every morning. The crew is always looking for donations to keep this program running. Items they could always use more of are disposable coffee cups and lids, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Chai Tea and Green Tea (K-Cups).

Donations can be sent to or dropped off with Jamie Schleifer:

Jamie Schleifer
Bennington High School
PO Box 309
Bennington, NE 68007