Students pour cups of lemonade onto the school coach as part of their prize for raising the most money.

New Berlin Elementary students turn lemons into lemonade with splashy literacy challenge, cancer-fundraiser

March 4, 2024 – Literacy and lemonade made the perfect combination for New Berlin Elementary School students as they recently celebrated raising more than $2,700 through their lemonade-themed fundraiser.

Each year, the school participates in a “One School, One Book” literacy challenge. But this year was different.

After discovering that one of her very own students was battling cancer, Principal Raquel Foxworth decided to combine the book challenge with a fundraiser in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity focused on ending childhood cancer.

“When I found out about this particular student, I knew that whatever book we chose, I wanted it to be something that would make a difference,” said Principal Foxworth. “Not just us reading, but something that would make a greater impact.”

Students in kindergarten through first grade read “Splat the Cat and the Lemonade Stand.” Second through fifth grade read “The Lemonade War.” As they read their books, they also collected funds for the charity. Last Thursday, students assembled to recognize both the reading and fundraising success.

Fourth-grader Dan Brinson sported a yellow suit to the assembly and spoke to his peers about what he learned from the book.

“I want to make a lemonade stand,” said Dan Brinson. “Kids should learn if you’re ever feeling down, you can talk to your sibling or somebody. If you want to help somebody out, you can make a business to help them out.”

At the assembly, students shouted in delight when they learned they had exceeded their fundraising goal of $400 and raised $2,797.25. There were also shouts of delight when the class who raised the most money received their splashy prize – the chance to pour cups of cold lemonade over the coach’s head.

For Brinson, the entire experience made an impact.

“It’s a really big deal,” Brinson said. “Donating is a really cool way to help because it’s sad how people have to go through this.”

In addition to supporting the fight against cancer, Foxworth said the initiative increased her students’ thirst for reading.

“I’m extremely one proud principal here,” said Foxworth. “In the mornings when they would come in and they would be waiting to go to class, you would see them out in the hallways with the books and that’s how engaged they were with reading and wanting to just drive home this initiative.”

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