Fresno elementary school helping special education students learn the aspects of the business world

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There is no ordinary school snack time at one school in Southwest Fresno.

A group of special education students at Lincoln Elementary is running a business called "Wildcat Café" where teachers buy food and drinks from students.

"It opens up the world to understanding that there are many teachers on campus that would love to get to know them. It also teaches them the importance of eye contact, handshakes, counting money, understanding the concept of money and things like that," said Shamara Garcia, Resource Counseling Assistant.

The idea was created by Garcia and fellow SDC teacher Luizalyn Gonzalez, they wanted the class of 20 students to learn outside the classroom.

Each Friday morning "Wildcat Café" goes door-to-door to sell snacks and drinks to teachers and staff on campus.

Some students focus on sales while others concentrate on inventory during the middle of the week.

"We count how much coffee we have, we count how many cups we need, how many snacks we sold last week. We try to figure out what is the most popular by graphing what has sold versus what has not sold," said Garcia.

The items are purchased and sold at cost.

While students are learning math, direction, and communication. Gonzalez has noticed social skills are improving on campus and parents have seen it at home.

"We had one parent of a particular student who was struggling the first two or three weeks of school and now seeing him grow, we haven't even been in school that long but seeing him grow from attending this club," she said.
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