Bold School Coffee Now Open!
Excitement has been in the air this week at Van High School with the highly anticipated launch of the BOLD School Coffee Shop inside the newly renovated VHS Library! Monday evening, the iTeam hosted an Open House for the STEAM Room and a preview of BOLD School Coffee where over 100 guests saw firsthand the newly imaged library while sampling the delicious treats the coffee bar has to offer. The excitement continued this morning with the Grand Opening of BOLD School Coffee when an eager line of Vandals formed just after 7am anticipating their first gourmet cup of joe! This innovative learning space combined with coffee is sure to be the hub of activity in the school, making Van High School the place to be!
No worries for book lovers out there… this newly revamped space with a coffee shop/bookstore vibe is already bringing more traffic into the library and reviving an interest in reading. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math are the heart and soul of the room with learning spaces designated for coding, programming, sewing, vinyl cutting, 3-D printing, green screen production, and much more. The STEAM Room will provide a creative outlet for students to participate in critical thinking and problem solving activities or relax and read a book while enjoying beverages and refreshments from BOLD School Coffee. As a part of their Entrepreneurship course, VHS iTeam students created the business model for BOLD School Coffee with the overall goal of getting students back in the library on a regular basis. “One of the things students expressed that would get them excited about the library and make them want to spend more time in there was a coffee bar.” said iTeam Director Jason Johnson. Armed with this knowledge, members of the iTeam formed a plan and developed a business model during their summer break. They visited a variety of coffee shops for ideas, researched business models, and even did a book study over "The Daily Grind" which deals with opening a successful independent coffee business. “The initiative has been totally kid-driven. From menu planning and design to setting prices of menu items, the venture has been student-led. Our CTE students even assisted with construction of the mobile coffee bar and design of the metal signage. Student-designed and student-driven learning opportunities represent education in its purest form.” said Johnson.
Students are not only earning credit in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) course, but learning valuable business and entrepreneurial skills with the student-led coffee shop. The branding created by students rivals that of professional marketing teams. BOLD School Coffee pays homage to the bold flavor of coffee while playing off of the term Old School and its association with classic rock music. Imagery is present in the BOLD School logo which depicts a vinyl record spinning beneath a coffee cup to represent both music and coffee. Vintage vinyl records can be seen throughout the design of the space and all menu items are named after classic rock anthems. Thus far, these students have done an amazing job, naming, branding and marketing the business…VHS students literally ROCK!
In order to build a business from the ground up, re-imagine the library space, and implement a makerspace setting, it truly took a village. A tremendous amount of behind the scenes work from a number of people went into the successful launch of this forward thinking endeavor. Thank you VHS AG Teacher Will Doss, VHS AG Teacher Jason Rose and VHS Wood/Metal Shop Teacher Bobby Skeeters. Mr. Doss took a design and guided his students to create a custom mobile coffee cart that rivals anything you can find online. Mr. Doss, Mr. Rose and Mr. Skeeters also played a big role in guiding their students who made the signage for the STEAM room and BOLD School Coffee. VISD Maintenance was extremely helpful in the installation signage, plumbing, lighting, etc. The Technology Department made sure that the devices and technology students need to work within the space were installed and functional. A special thanks to Jason Johnson, VISD Director of Instructional Technology, for his commitment to innovative student thinking and for his daily guidance with this amazing group of students. He along with his team Lacey McNeil, Glenn Herveiux, and Justin Hobbs have been critical in the success in this endeavor. Thank you to CTE Director Karla Rainey for providing a real world learning opportunity for the i-Team students as well as her contribution in making the space a student friendly design. Thank you to VHS Principal Jeff Hutchins and his administrative team for having the courage to allow students to take the lead in renovating a sacred space, the Van High School Library, into a space that will foster a love for literacy, creativity and innovation. The effort from all of these individuals demonstrates that awesome things can happen for kids when a district comes together as a team.
Bold School Coffee Bar will be open to VHS students and staff on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Full STEAM ahead Vandals!