Student-run restaurant teaches cooking, business and life skills

Here's a good idea: a student-run restaurant that teaches kids cooking, service and finance while serving great food to the community -- and generating some cash to help defray the cost of instruction.

August Martin High School in Jamaica, New York opened its Cook's Cafe on May 1. , "This restaurant will be operated by August Martin High School students as part of their culinary externship. From the state-of-the-art kitchen where food is prepared, to the P.O.S. System where orders are taken, students will be afforded every opportunity to learn all the facets of owning and operating their own business."

It's probably too early to say anything definitive, but the school's principal says that he's already seen improvements in student's self-confidence and performance in other classes as a result of the new program. Look for this model to be emulated by other schools seeking innovative ways to engage students that can also help pay their own expenses in a time of steep budget cuts.

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