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West Side Education News & Notes

3/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Lippman, Nervous Dog partner for fundraiser

Lippman School Board of Trustees member Michael Litt, owner of the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar, is shown with students who worked with him on a fundraiser for the school and local food bank.
Photo courtesy of The Lippman School
WEST AKRON — What began as a lesson on collaborative problem-solving has now turned into a fundraiser for The Lippman School and Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

According to Lippman School teaching fellow John Bennett, last year second-grade students decided they wanted to do something to improve safety on the playground. Once they realized that some of the improvements were going to cost money, they worked together to create a funding proposal for the school’s Board of Trustees.

That captured the imagination of Lippman Board member Michael Litt, who owns the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar. He suggested that students raise the money through coffee sales, but with a twist. Instead of selling bags of coffee branded with the Nervous Dog logo, they could create a custom-blended coffee for their school, design the bags themselves and learn about business and entrepreneurship in the process.

Bennett said that idea led to many new learning experiences for the students, who are now in third grade, including a classroom lecture from Litt on different kinds of coffee and where it is grown, Skype chats with marketing experts in Washington, D.C., a market survey to determine what kind of coffee would sell best and graphic design. They also came up with their own tagline — “Enjoy Our Blend With a Smile.”

Now, after a year and a half, “The Lippman Blend” is ready to brew. It is sold online at shop.nervousdogtoo.org (click on “Coffee Fundraiser”) and over the counter at the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar locations in West Akron and Stow. Proceeds will benefit the school and also be shared with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank through the Nervous Dog’s fundraising arm, Nervous Dog, Too. 

“Nervous Dog Coffee has always been a community-based, altruistic local business, partnering on projects with various organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Sierra Club, the Battered Women’s Shelter and other local schools,” Litt said. “We recently locked arms with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, so that while folks are supporting causes about which they share a passion, they can also feed those in need of a helping hand.”

Sam Chestnut, Lippman’s Head of School, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Nervous Dog Coffee to provide a curriculum-based fundraising experience for our students. The best educational experiences for students are those that offer ‘real world’ application. Through our partnership, students apply their academic skills to develop marketing materials and strategies in an authentic entrepreneurial enterprise.”

 

UA co-op, intern programs get $800,000 funding boost from state

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The University of Akron’s (UA) co-op and internship programs have received a $799,286 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents as part of the Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops program.

The award to UA is the third largest of 25 granted statewide, according to UA officials.

At UA, the grant will be used to provide additional funding to employers offering new co-op positions and to enable small and startup businesses to provide students with co-ops at competitive salaries.

The new grant also will allow UA to build interview/Skype/presentation rooms and to hire additional career and co-op staff members. The “infrastructure” enhancement will better help students prepare for and secure co-op and internship positions, according to UA officials.

The new funding follows a $932,571 grant UA received in 2012 for expansion of internship and co-op programs.

 

Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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