EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Student-run soda shop serves up life skills at South Valley School

Jan 2, 2024, 11:06 AM

Students from South Valley School...

Class seven created a student run soda shop for students and staff. (South Valley School)

(South Valley School)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — Students at South Valley School have created something they are proud of — a student-operated soda shop.

Codee Flores, a teacher at the school, instructs 18 to 22-year-old students with disabilities. She said the soda shop gives her students something to call their own and brightens the community at South Valley. Additionally, she said it helps them prepare for future job opportunities, especially in a state known for its dirty sodas.

Learning real-world skills

Flores started the Sip N’ 7 soda shop to help her students learn practical skills.  The students fully operate the soda shop. They come up with drinks and flavors of the month and sell them to other students.

The students run the shop from the classroom. Flores said they help with every aspect of the business. 

“They help with preparing the drinks. They help with buying the sodas or the syrups and coming up with new sodas for the month,” she said.

According to Flores the students also help with handling money.

“They help with pricing out things so that we can stay on budget. And it’s just been a really beneficial thing for the school…they are learning skills that help them communicate with other people, get to know other people. And just it’s a really positive thing for our school community,” Flores continued. 

A sense of belonging

According to Flores, the students have benefitted from being a part of the soda shop. She said students like hers can be left out on the sidelines. 

“They might not be invited to be part of things. But this is their thing. This is their own baby per sé,” said Flores.

“They’re the ones that come up with the advertising. And they get to interact with the other students in the school because they go around and take orders. And, you know, it really kind of puts our students in the spotlight as far as ‘Oh, hey, that’s class seven right there,'” added Flores. 

Related reading: Students learn service through cereal drive benefitting another school

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Student-run soda shop serves up life skills at South Valley School