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Because Coffee’s “Birthaversary” event garners $2,900 for Dawson County Schools program
CBI 2022
Local businesses Because Coffee and Modern Woodmen of America raised $2,900 for Dawson County Schools’ Community-Based Instruction program through the coffee shop’s May fundraiser. Modern Woodmen presented the CBI program with a check on Aug. 16. - photo by Julia Fechter

Dawson County’s exceptional students will now be able to have more sensory learning opportunities thanks to a local coffee shop’s key partnership. 

From its third annual  “Birthaversary” event in May, Because Coffee raised $2,900 for Dawson County Schools’ Community-Based Instruction (CBI) program, which serves exceptional students in the county’s public schools. 

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Alexandria Williams from Modern Woodmen of America partnered with the coffee shop again to raise $1,531 of that total.

Previously, Because Coffee has served as a work site for exceptional students to work at twice weekly and learn essential skills like bagging and stamping items and conversing with customers, said Dawson County High School CBI Coordinator Ashley Caray.

During Modern Woodmen’s check presentation Tuesday, Caray explained that CBI education helps teach students life skills. So far, Dawson’s CBI program has some unique ways it’s going to put the money raised to good use. 

Caray explained that the money will in part be used for tower gardens at the county’s elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. These types of gardens can help teach the “farm to table” concept, she said.

More details linked on Because Coffee’s website stated that the tower gardens use aeroponic gardening for increased plant yields, all the while using LED lights, less water and ground space. Gardens can be moved around on a dolly to wherever students are. 

The funds raised will also go toward the forthcoming music and art therapy initiatives CBI is building, Caray said. 

In total, Dawson’s CBI program is looking to offer music and art therapies to all 85 of its children, which is projected to cost about $30,000 for a whole school year, she added. 

The amount raised in 2022 is over triple what the coffee shop's event raised for the CBI program last year.

Because Coffee owner Doug Cole credited the fundraising’s success to community members “showing up big” to his store’s “Birthaversary” party. 

“They all showed up big and opened up their wallets and their hearts,” Cole said.