Starbucks will be sold at school

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2005

Starbucks is opening up another location in Suffolk.

Actually it’s in King’s Fork High School, and actually, it’s not open to the whole java-drinking public.

The new Starbucks will be open for an hour each school morning from 7:15 to 8:15 and it will only serve Suffolk school employees and official adult visitors to the high school.

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More importantly than everyone’s morning caffeine jolt is who will get the opportunity to work there.

Through an agreement passed Thursday by the Suffolk School Board, Starbucks will be providing “on-campus, hands-on training for students with disabilities who are participating in the Starbucks Kidz project.”

The business will become a profit-making, self-sustaining enterprise said Dr. Sandra Witcher, director of special education for Suffolk Public Schools, during Thursday’s meeting.

Sales from the coffee booth will be used to purchase inventory from Starbucks.

Starbucks provides inventory for Starbucks Kidz programs at a 15 percent discount.

According to the contract, monthly costs for Suffolk Public Schools will not exceed $350 per month.

Social, communication, commercial and job skills are goals of this project, as well as to provide a service-based learning experience.

“Another potential aspect of this program,” Witcher said, “would be, in the future, to donate some of the profits to charities in Suffolk.”

If Starbucks is a hit at King’s Fork, the program is planned to expand next school year to Lakeland and Nansemond River, Witcher said.

Holding up flyers already printed and distributed by students at King’s Fork, Dr. Milton Liverman, superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools, said, “We can see students already coming up with marketing strategies, and that’s pretty exciting because it’s clear this is a hands-on opportunity.”