Stop Into Our Cafe, Won't You?

Nancy Bartosz, Meemic Member since 2016

I love to travel and have been all over the world. I like to bring my experiences back into the classroom to help students become good global learners. The climate in education has changed a lot over my 23 years of teaching. If you’re a new teacher, you might think it’s all about the standardized testing. I wonder how they stay motivated.
The Meemic Foundation has been terrific in supporting the creative efforts of our school to teach beyond the curriculum. Some grant programs have an overwhelming amount of paperwork, but the Meemic grant is really reasonable. It also gives us a lot of flexibility with spending the money, which helps support creative ideas. Our local agent made a presentation at the school complete with a big check. The kids absolutely loved it!
I applied for a grant this year so the students can run a café to support a charity in Myanmar. The charity is also a café. It’s called Sprouting Seeds, and it teaches practical skills that empower women and help young people to engage in society and participate in the growing economy of the region. It’s a lifeline for them.
Our school café is called Sprouting Seeds Jr. We invite community members into the school to get their morning coffee instead of going to coffee shops. We needed the grant for a higher-end coffee machine so our café would be attractive to people. The café is located in the balcony of our library from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. Students do all the work. They have to fill out applications to get jobs in the café, and they learn to provide customer service and perform accounting tasks, inventory management and other business functions. You can’t show that on a standardized test, but I hope it is something the students can integrate into their lives. The adults buy coffee, and the kids buy hot chocolate, cider, juice and snacks. Last year, we sent $1,000 of earnings to Myanmar, and our students could see that they helped build that café that supports young people on the other side of the world.
Meemic has been great for me, personally, too. When I filed a claim, they were responsive and really easy to work with. And the Meemic sales representative showed me how I could save money on insurance with them. I’m trying to be fiscally conservative because I’m trying to save up to travel. The more I save, the more of the world I get to see.

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