Making Lemonade: A Lesson in Giving Back and Speaking Up

08 Feb Making Lemonade: A Lesson in Giving Back and Speaking Up

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: A Lesson in Giving Back and Speaking Up!

A few years ago I learned about an amazing foundation called Alex’s Lemonade Stand. For those of you who don’t know about this incredible organization, let me take a few moments to explain. At age 4, Alex Scott was diagnosed with cancer. She decided that if she could raise money for her hospital then maybe they would find a cure in the near future. Her lemonade stand was so inspiring that children across the United States decided to hold their own lemonade stands in her honor.  Alex passed away, but her spirit lives on and her dream was realized. Every year children across the US still set up lemonade stands to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

“In August of 2004, Alex passed away at the age of eight, knowing that, with the help of others, she had raised more than $1 million to help find a cure for the disease that took her life.”

When I learned about this organization I knew it was something I wanted to implement into my curriculum. Teaching children at a young age about giving back is so important.  So three years ago, with my students, we had a trial run.  Boy, was it successful! The children learned all about giving back to their communities. They discussed why it is important to give back, how to give back and shared what causes were important to them. My students went door-to-door to raise money, and one child even set up a small lemonade stand of their own to raise money for our fund to help reach our goal. Our goal was $800. We raised $4000.

The following year we decided to take on this challenge once again. This time, we made t-shirts and signs, and we made lemonade! Most importantly, we raised over $5,000.

This year we will hold another Lemonade Stand. I will sit with the 17 four-year-olds in my class and talk about giving back. We will talk about donations and why it is important to stand up and let your voice be heard.  We will explore the idea that even though we may not be sick, there are other kids that can’t go to ballet or karate or school, and we can help them! How cool is that? By holding a lemonade stand, and standing up for something, we can make a difference.

The Women’s March was a few weeks ago. Seeing that many people stand up for something, even if it doesn’t directly affect them, was so moving. It reminded me of why I implemented Alex’s Lemonade Stand in the first place. Building a generation of strong, loud, smart, thoughtful people is important and inspiring. I recently read somewhere “…that every time a child is born it’s the universe’s way of saying it hasn’t given up on us yet.” So don’t give up either. The road may seem long and hard, but after every peak there is a valley. And remember; when life gives you lemons – just make lemonade!

A post by our wonderful teacher, Danielle Emspak!