Ocean View High School teacher Courtney Gillett came up with the idea while teaching math, but the Ocean Brew Coffee Cart really demonstrates scientific terminology.

It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Students participating in the IDEAS (Independence, Diversity, Education for All) program in Gillette schools gain experience preparing coffee and tea from scratch and delivering them to teachers on campus twice a week. I’m in.

Teachers? Well, they give you a much-needed morning jolt.

Gillett’s students are responsible for every part of the operation, from collecting $1 per Joe to cleaning equipment. Two of her students in Ocean Brew’s 2nd class take their coffee carts in rotation every Wednesday and Friday. Meanwhile, other students clean their equipment before heading to the store to purchase supplies.

Teacher Courtney Gillette lets senior Hazel Pena use the coffee machine as she fills orders on Friday.

Teacher Courtney Gillette (middle) gets senior Hazel Pena to start using the coffee machine as she processes orders on Friday.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“I wanted them to go out and learn,” said Gillette, who is also a liaison for the Unified Sports program at the Huntington Beach Union High School District. “I’m not a reader or a classroom lecturer. I wanted them to do something, go out and sell something.”

Gillette said she saw Able Coffee, a local coffee shop that employs people with autism, and thought, “We can do it.”

A form will be sent to teachers so they can pre-order. Another Ocean her view teacher is part of the “Coffee Club” and has already paid for her year’s worth of coffee in advance.

Orders are for faculty and staff only, not students, but there are exceptions. OCEAN VIEW HIS BUSINESS Jon Volo, an instructor at his academy, likes to order three cups of coffee to hand out to his students.

Ocean View teacher John Volo (middle) shakes fists with IDEA student Hong Lai, 16.

Ocean View teacher Jon Volo is fist-fighting with IDEA student Hong Lai, 16, after delivering coffee on Friday morning.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

On Friday, Volo assisted two Ocean View delivery students, senior Alex Wright and sophomore Hung Lai, as they toured campus with April Lancaster.

“First day?” Volo said with a smile over his drink. “You guys are already pros.”

In fact, Lancaster didn’t get burned, for example, because he had to remind him to put a sleeve stamped with the Ocean Brew logo on his cup first. The delivery session, which ended in 10 minutes, went off without incident.

“They will probably deliver twice next week,” Lancaster said.

IDEAS student Alex Wright, Center, Hong Lai, goes out to deliver coffee orders to the classroom on Friday.

IDEA student Alex Wright, Center, Hong Lai, goes out to deliver coffee orders to the classroom on Friday.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

That is the goal of the Ocean Brew Program and similar programs in high schools throughout the district.

IDEAS students develop specific vocational and social skills. Next Friday, Gillette said Ocean Brew will visit the ward office where it will sell coffee to staff.

“These kids can go to Starbucks now,” Gillette said. “They can say, ‘I can be a barista.’ I know how to make coffee. I know how to follow directions, I know how to clean up.”

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