On Monday, April 2, the Anchorage School District officially opened "Transition Coffee Shop" on the first floor of the Anchorage School District building.

The space was vacant for over a year after a previous coffee shop failed. The district felt it would be a good idea to try the coffee idea one more time, this time to help prepare special needs students to transition from high school to the community.

"The Adult Community Transition program help students with special needs," Lucia Wooley said. "Most have graduated high school or will graduate soon. Typically, the program is for students 18- to 22-years-old."

The coffee shop will provide work experience for students in ASD's ACT program and immerse them successfully into the community.

"Many people have been working hard on this space since December," Wooley said. "We've been helped by Kaladi Brothers coffee providing us with training, helping the students make coffee, painting the area, fixing it up-- it's been a very valuable experience."

Some of the skills the students are learning include customer service, how to be prompt and being polite.

"Of course, making good coffee, too," Wooley said. "We have a lot of these partnerships throughout the community. We have a partnership with Spenard Building Supply, we have a partnership with Providence where there is childcare, and we have a partnership with UAA where students work in one of the cafeterias, so we are throughout the community, the children's lunchbox, the food bank and just a lot of places where you will find our students in the community."

Transitions coffee shop is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the ASD main office.  

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