Education Matters: ‘Kids Cafe’ helping students with special

FRESNO, California – It was a year ago that the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools opened a business called the Kids Café.

This unique business enterprise is transforming the lives of young adults with special needs. The café was designed to give adults with special needs the skills needed to land a job and live an independent life.

The café is doing just that, while at the same time becoming a thriving downtown business.

21 year old Jamie Murphy operates the cash register at the Kids Café. To the average customer this may not seem out of the ordinary…but for those who know Jamie, a special needs student in the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Adult Transition program…this is a big deal.

“It makes me feel happy because at first I was shy and I wasn’t no more,” said Jamie Murphy.

It was a year ago this January that the Kid’s Café opened its doors. The café is a business started by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools designed to give the county’s special needs adult students work experience.

It warms my heart to see what’s happened to our young men and women who work here. I think it’s restored a lot of community support and awareness around kids with special needs,” stated Jim Yovino with the Superintendent of Schools.

Café manager Paul Romero says when it comes to measuring just how well the restaurant is doing..he looks at the students who work there. He says a year ago Jamie was so shy she wouldn’t look at you, would cover her face.

“To see her growth and see the growth of our other students I think is our biggest measure, we’ve come along way with food, we’ve come along way with being known in the Fulton Mall, but the biggest way we have come is with our students growing from where they were in the beginning to where they are now,” said cafe manager Paul Romero.

Source: Education Matters: ‘Kids Cafe’ helping students with special

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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