Students add tang to cancer fight
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 29, 2012 1:50 AM
Hayley Thomas, center, holds a glass while Angel Hernandez pours the lemonade. Assisting in Jodi DeLaCruz. The students ran the stand to help raise money for Relay for Life.
Jaila Carter scooped ice into a small plastic cup, then handed it to classmate Candra Stevens to add some lemonade.
Addison Moore put in the finishing touch -- a "bendy" straw.
The first-grade assembly line outside the front office of Brogden Primary School Friday morning was ready for the next wave of customers.
"You're the sticker person. Get a sticker on your thumb," teacher Randi Fleming told Kyle Kornegay, before advising Manuel Gonzalez-Diaz he would be responsible for handing out receipts. "Get ready."
Just in time.
Tina Andrews, a second-grade teacher, lined up her group of 21 students, patiently waiting to purchase a 50-cent cup of the beverage.
"My whole class is getting lemonade," she said.
The stand was Ms. Fleming's idea. It was scheduled to coincide with Friday's third- and fourth-grade field day, with proceeds to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which supports research into pediatric cancer research.
Alex Scott, she explained, was diagnosed with cancer at age 1. When she was 4 years old, still sick herself, Alex decided to have a lemonade stand to raise money to help other children who might be battling cancer. The proceeds from her efforts, and others like it, have raised more than $50 million for pediatric cancer research.
Alex passed away in 2004, at age 8, but her dream of beating cancer continues.
Not only is Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation a good cause, Ms. Fleming said, but participation held an added bonus -- the website offered teacher resources to incorporate into the classroom.
"It's been a tough little conversation, but they get it, and they get that we're trying to do something with it," Ms. Fleming said of her students. "Just the life skills for teachers, to make them realize they can help others, too."
The students had writing assignments and activities around the event, then made and decorated flyers and distributed them around the school.
"We made shifts (to work), decided on a uniform -- we're all going to wear yellow," Ms. Fleming said earlier in the week. "In class, we tried pink and yellow lemonade (to) graph which one they like better."
Pink lemonade actually won, by a 2-to-1 margin, according to a large poster displayed behind the stand. But as the time drew closer, it was easier to mass-produce sales of the traditional yellow version.
Each student was given a job and worked in shifts. There were even enough adult volunteers to sustain a second stand, outside near the field day events.
Haylee Thomas and Amber Wiggins were summoned from the classroom to relieve the first workers.
Haylee said she was excited about raising money and was knowledgeable about the cause.
"It's for a little girl who died of cancer," she said. "I wanted to do this because we want to help other kids, to make medicine and give it to the doctors."
Amber said she felt prepared for her shift.
"We talked about what to say," she said.
"And then we trained how to take care of customers," added Manuel, whose shift was wrapping up.
Nearby, Hayden Spencer, Johntaniea Loftin and Daniel Estevez had just made a purchase and were studying their cups, which featured the Alex's Lemonade Stand logo.
"I'm reading and seeing what was on it," said Hayden, a first-grader.
Their teacher, Janah Herring, asked the boys and girls to describe the lemonade, reminding them of a book they had recently read, entitled "Fancy Nancy."
"We can use fancy words to describe this, like tangy," she said.
"Sweet," said Hayden.
"It was perfecto," Daniel said.
Everything for the fundraiser was donated by staff members at the school, Ms. Fleming said, and she ordered 200 logo cups and bought 160 more plain ones. She also had someone on standby if more were needed.
"It's already exceeded our goal," she said, one hour into the four-hour sale. "We had a goal of $60 and people have just donated, so that makes it more.
"Before we started this stand, we had already raised $25 before we even opened."
To donate to Brogden's fundraiser, visit www.alexslemonade/org/mypage/81505.
Ms. Fleming said she is also keeping a blog of the experience, for anyone who wants to keep up with the student's project. It can be found at www.teachitwithclass.blogspot.com.