Crimson Cup Helps Ohio Avenue Elementary Students Dream up a Better Community

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Through Project Dream, volunteers from Columbus coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea are working with Ohio Avenue Elementary School students to dream up ways the students can help the community. The goal is to build confident youth leaders – to empower kids to think beyond themselves to create change in their communities.

Volunteers from Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea with Students from Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Volunteers from Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea with Students from Ohio Avenue Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Project Dream is a new service learning program that shows kids how they can get involved and support their community while developing leadership skills. The goal is to build confident youth leaders – to empower kids to think beyond themselves to create change in their communities.

At Ohio Avenue Elementary School, students are dreaming up ways they can make their community stronger through an innovative new partnership between local nonprofit See Kids Dream and Columbus coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea.

“Giving back is one of our core values at Crimson Cup, and See Kids Dream is one of our favorite community partners,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert. “We’ve been working with See Kids Dream and their Penny Harvest program since 2008 and are proud to have been associated with this great organization since its inception.”

Crimson Cup Marketing VP Melissa Rogner serves on the marketing committee for See Kids Dream. When she learned about the organization’s new Project Dream, she organized a team of volunteers including Bob Fahringer, Janie Brooks and Alex Reed to work with students at Ohio Avenue Elementary School, the closest Columbus City School to the company’s Innovation Lab at 700 Alum Creek Drive.

“Project Dream is a new service learning program that shows kids how they can get involved and support their community while developing leadership skills,” Rogner said. “The goal is to build confident youth leaders – to empower kids to think beyond themselves to create change in their communities.”

According to See Kids Dream Co-founder and Executive Director Laura Grindle, Crimson Cup is the first company to pilot Project Dream, a new program that enables volunteers to fill the “service learning coach” role typically filled by a school staff person. “In many schools, staff members have many more demands, than they have time,” Grindle said.

“Thanks to Crimson Cup’s leadership, we have been able to give kids at Ohio Avenue Elementary the opportunity to participate.”

Since the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, the Crimson Cup team has met with 10 fifth-grade students to help them learn about community issues. As a group, they chose homelessness as the issue most important to them. After interviewing three organizations that address homelessness, the students voted to work with Huckleberry House. Located at 1421 Hamlet Street in Columbus, Huckleberry House supports runaway and homeless teens.

After exploring the merits of volunteering, fundraising, a supply drive or an advocacy campaign, the students again voted to develop an advocacy campaign for Huckleberry House. With the Crimson Cup team’s guidance, they created a video to promote the local shelter.

“We’re thrilled to have Crimson Cup as a great community partner, Grindle said. “With their company as a model, we’re looking for other business partners to expand Project Dream for the 2018-2019 school year.”

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Since 1991, Crimson Cup has roasted sustainably sourced specialty and craft coffee in small batches, which it sells directly to consumers and as wholesale coffee beans. The company also teaches entrepreneurs to run successful coffee houses through its coffee franchise alternative program, which includes a coffee shop business plan. Crimson Cup coffee is available through a community of more than 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 36 states, Guam and Bangladesh, as well as the company’s own Crimson Cup Coffee Houses. To learn more, visit crimsoncup.com.

About See Kids Dream

Founded by Bill and Laura Grindle in 2008, See Kids Dream is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower youth with the skills, motivation and confidence to make the world a better place. Working with central Ohio educators and other non-profits, See Kids Dream creates and supports youth-driven service learning programs for ages 8-14. Through its Penny Harvest program, See Kids Dream has helped students raise more than $330,000 to support local community needs. To learn more, visit http://www.seekidsdream.com.

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Cheryl Claypoole
@crimsoncup
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