The name Voyagers sets the tone for the work we do in our middle school classroom with our 6th through 8th grade students. The needs of students at this age are complex as they transition from childhood into young adolescence. At this point they need a balance between supportive guidance and autonomy in directing their own learning processes. They are striving to build independence but need an environment where they feel accepted and supported to do so.
Much of the Voyager class time is spent on strengthening academic skills in preparation for their transition to high school. Focus is given to reinforcing critical thinking, questioning, and problem-solving skills in all subject areas. At the same time, we create a framework for fostering independence and responsibility in our students, while nurturing a supportive, accepting environment so that students feel comfortable with being authentic among their peers.
To build this type of support among adolescents, we focus on developing collaboration skills.
Students practice listening to each other, considering other viewpoints, compromising, and cooperating to complete large-scale projects.
Through these experiences, the students gain confidence in tackling all that life will bring their way as they take their voyage to high school and beyond!
Feeling tired on a Monday morning? The Learning Center students have the perfect solution - a Monday morning, student-run coffee shop featuring our very own Learning Center blend!
At The Learning Center we like to engage with local businesses as often as we can. One such opportunity took us to a local coffee shop and roastery. We loved learning about the different qualities of coffee beans and the countries in which they grow. Our students became so interested in the global coffee industry that the owner suggested we try our hand at creating our own special blend. Three unique flavors were created by our students, and the coffee shop held a special Saturday morning event where members of the local community voted on their favorite. The clear winner became The Learning Center’s very own blend - “Old School.” With our delicious signature blend, we were ready to set up our coffee shop!
The students got busy making preparations! We learned about profit vs. revenue, budgeted, set prices, purchased our supplies, advertised, and practiced our service skills. Students even selected class bakers and produced our own baked goods. We provided an array of both caffeinated and herbal teas to satisfy our diverse customer base from tired parents to overactive students. Our location, the school parking lot, was a perfect place to serve our clientele.
Once we got comfortable with our business, we started thinking about the negative impact our coffee shop might be having on the planet. Each week we saw cups, creamer containers, and plastic stirring straws go into the trash. The idea of The Learning Center travel mug was born. A contest was held to choose the design, and our multicultural-themed mug was the clear winner. We took orders and made deliveries.
The Learning Center Coffee Shop and our Old School blend have become community favorites. With all of the proceeds from the sales going towards special Voyager events; including trips to Gettysburg, Falling Waters, and Laurel Caverns; we have an authentic business opportunity to support our interests and education. Most of all, we are learning that we are able to solve any problem through creativity and hard work!