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Jordan awarded LIFT grant for Jackets' Java

Congratulations to Mrs. Michelle Jordan for winning a $1500 LIFT Grant from the Union County Education Foundation. The money will help her class create a new school-based enterprise known as Jackets' Java. This mobile coffee business will benefit both her students who will run it and the staff members who will get the caffeine boost!

Dr. Plue, Mrs. Jordan receive the check from the Union County Education Foundation Mrs. Jordan teaches the TTA (Transition to Adulthood) class in the Exceptional Children's department at Forest Hills. She helps her students gain the life skills that will serve them in their near future. She believes that the project for which she received the grant will help her meet several of the goals she has for her students. First, students will learn to run a successful, ongoing school-based enterprise as part of their vocational training program. Second, the project creates a hands-on learning environment within the school setting. And third, students learn leadership and vocational skills such as: clocking in on time, interacting with others, accountability, budgeting skills, conflict resolution, and problem solving.  The ultimate goal is to provide the skill sets necessary for students to be successful in a career upon graduation from high school.

Asked how she came up with the idea for Jackets' Java, Mrs. Jordan said, "We tossed around several ideas for a school-based enterprise but wanted to make sure it was something the students could do on their own and also something that would be sustainable.  We were looking into selling coffee since we know as teachers how important that is to keep us going some days, and felt like this would be a good business for our class to do and something that would benefit our staff as well."

The grant money will be used to purchase a mobile coffee cart complete with a Keurig machine, 200 K cups, creamer, sugar, stirrers, coffee sleeves, aprons/visors/buttons for students to wear as uniforms, and a cash register.

Mrs. Jordan is very excited about the LIFT grant and the opportunity it has provided her students. She said, "I am so grateful to win. This was the first grant I had ever written so I was not sure how it would turn out.  I was blessed beyond words!"

Her students are equally, if not more, excited. "My students were ecstatic," Jordan said.  "Mariah fell in the floor when they presented the check to us.  They were all so proud and happy and can’t wait to be employees of their own business!" And Forest Hills teachers and staff members can't wait to become their customers!