Starlight Cafe » Starlight Cafe

Starlight Cafe

Overseen by Rosalind Wright, a Vocation Assistant at the Institute, our Starlight Cafe and Coffee Shop offer students a glimpse of the challenges and rewards of managing a small business, as well as opportunities to strengthen their activities of daily living skills (commonly referred to as ADL skills). 


Vital to our students ability to become more fully independent, featured ADL skills training at the cafe and coffee shop includes:


Money Management

Reading and Writing



Clothing Care

Cooking and Eating

Communication Devices


Through participating, students' prepare food and beverages for customers under the guidance and direction of their teachers in the Cafe and Coffee Shop kitchens, which also serve as our ADL Labs.


In the spring, dishes can also be prepared using herbs and produce from our on-campus garden. All profits purchase more items and materials for the Cafe and Coffee Shop.


This work training experience helps students become more confident and capable as they mature to take on more responsibilities, providing ample opportunities to build on lessons learned in their classrooms.


It also creates a sense of community and school spirit as students work together to host various pop-ups, giveaways, specialty drinks, and snacks throughout the year (e.g., National Cooking Day, National Coffee Day, and National Waffle Day). 


The benefits of this entrepreneurial experience are numerous and include:


Entrepreneurial Skills Training

Small Business Management Training

Customer Service Training

Social Skills Training

Communication Skills Training

Financial Management Training

Life Skills Training

Problem Solving Experience

Budgeting Experience

Self Confidence Building

Independence Building

Event Promotion

Product Marketing


Starlight Cafe Hours (October to June)* 

8:30 AM to 9:58 AM**

Four Days a Week


Coffee Shop Hours*



*Open for NYISE students and staff only.

**Times may vary to accommodate more students.

Made possible in part through our community's support, our Starlight Cafe and Coffee Shop Amazon Wish List features a few of the tools students use to read recipes, pour batter, cut fruits and vegetables, and weigh ingredients.
If you have a recipe that could be used by our students in our ADL Labs, please share it with us here: 
Your recipe may be shared our Instagram page and credited with your initials.
Thank you!

Manuals and Scoring: Tool for evaluating daily living skills for students at all levels, K-12