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Cappuccinos and calculations: Boise coffee shop now offering math tutoring

Caffè Capri is looking to help students who are struggling to learn from home amid the pandemic.

BOISE, Idaho — Caffè Capri, a small locally-owned coffee shop in Southeast Boise, has been in business for nearly a decade.

This year, like a lot of small businesses, has been one of their most challenging.

The coffee shop shut down in the spring as part of the state's COVID-19 protocol. It reopened with a smaller operation, and they've even had a couple of employees test positive for coronavirus, prompting another brief closure.

So they've rolled with the ups and downs right along with the rest of us. And that is why when they saw the roller coaster ride students are on with school this semester, they wanted to see if they could help smooth it out a bit.

This week, Caffè Capri owners Terry and David Becker will close their doors for customers, but open them for those school kids who are struggling with subtraction, geometry or even trigonometry.

The Beckers said they've hired a math tutor that will give junior high and high school students the one-on-one help they've been missing with remote learning.

It's a problem they've seen first-hand and decided to solve on their own.

"About two or three weeks ago, I was talking to my wife and we have six of our own grandchildren going to school," David Becker said. "So we recognize there's a problem and within our community, there was a lot [said] about the amount of work that it's taking for the parents and the children in order to do the remote learning.

"I said, 'you know, why don't we do something and we can hire a tutor here and have them come on in," he added.

So they did. Starting Tuesday night, Caffè Capri will close and clear some space for a calculated cram session - six students at a time, two 50-minute sessions, two nights a week.

"And we're going to continue doing it until there's no longer a need," David Becker said.

The recognition and response on social media has been great, but loading up on likes and stockpiling shares wasn't why they did it.

"It's not what we were looking for. We're just trying to help our community," David Becker said. "We started this as a community cafe almost nine years ago and we just want to support our neighborhood and that's kind of what we're doing. We see it as that."

The Beckers hope other business owners see it that way as well.

"To other small, large businesses, whatever it is, that might be able to do something like this," Terry Becker said. "Because we never thought that we were going to get the following that we did and so many people hope the community can pick this up and carry on."

The math sessions will happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.There is no charge to take advantage of the tutoring.

The Beckers said they're looking to help junior high and high school students. Caffè Capri can be reached at (208) 338-3007 or you can connect with them on their Facebook page.