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“Brewing Independence is here!”

Brewing Independence, a coffee cart program for fourth and fifth graders at Susan B. Anthony Elementary in Sioux Falls officially started last fall, under the guidance of Katie Rick. Max, Tenley and Jordan from our Famous 2018 summer internship program were tasked with branding for Brewing Independence. We followed up with Katie about the program last month since its official launch in September, 2018.

Katie sat across from me at a local downtown coffee shop. We’d emailed a week before and decided we’d connect on Thursday, December 27. She offered to come down to the Fresh Produce office to meet me. It’s 9:00 a.m. after a long Christmas weekend, Katie was smiling wide as she shared the progress of Brewing Independence.

After researching various programs for her class over a couple of months, Katie found how impactful coffee cart programs have been at schools across the country. As a Special Ed teacher, she’s noticed that doing everyday activities that promote communication and coordination have helped her students. To start the coffee cart program, the school needed $500 in donations to buy a coffee machine and other supplies. Katie posted a fundraiser on Donor’s Choose, after the program was approved by the principal. “We didn’t think we’d reach our goal in 36 hours. It was amazing to see that people were excited by the idea,” she said.

Brewing Independence at Susan B. Anthony Elementary has fourth and fifth graders participating in a “coffee shop” environment where they take and fulfill coffee orders from teachers in the school. Every Friday, Ms. Katie’s class receives close to 30 orders. The children go through their assigned stations to make coffee using a Keurig machine according to the order slips.

“The kids are so pumped when Friday comes around. I’ve seen several of them sort of break out of their shell and become social in an environment they’d shy away from. All our teachers love it, too,” said Katie Rick, Special Ed Teacher at Susan B. Anthony Elementary in Sioux Falls, SD.

While keeping the task fairly simple, children are challenged to follow the right steps in order. They’re guided by color-coded stations and cues to fulfill the orders, which they place into a tray-cart specially made for Brewing Independence.

Fresh Produce had the privilege of helping with the branding and collateral of this brilliant coffee cart program, the first of its kind in the Sioux Falls school district. By incorporating a drawing of a coffee cup by one of Katie’s students, our intern team was able to come up with a logo for the program. They now use the logo on their coffee cart, cups, T-shirts, and aprons.

Katie said that Brewing Independence has other schools excited as well — Terry Redlin Elementary will be starting the program in two classrooms at the end of the month.