- Columbus City Schools
Students at Georgian Heights Sip Lemonade for a Good Cause
July 22, 2022 -- At Georgian Heights Elementary School, Kenny Compton spent his morning dumping cups of rice into a sock.
The rising 3rd-grade student isn’t making lunch or creating a device to repair cell phones inadvertently dropped in the toilet. Instead, Compton and his classmates are creating ‘sock warmies’ - bundles of cloth and rice that will be heated in a microwave and given to baby animals. They provide the animals with the heat necessary for their survival.
“They get cold more often because they don’t have very much fur,” Compton explained.
Across the hall, Lexi Halsell, a rising 5th grader, is drawing on brown paper bags. A table in the classroom is filled with bags she and her peers have already finished - decorated with flowers and polka dots with phrases such as ‘You are loved’ and ‘You matter’ written on them.
The bags will go to The Open Shelter where they will be filled with snacks and treats to be handed out to the homeless. Halsell said the program has taught her about helping others.
“I didn’t really know a lot about it when we started,” Halsell said. “It’s really interesting what you can learn and do to help the homeless and other people in need.”
These projects are part of the Columbus City Schools Summer Experience, where Georgian Heights students are learning about giving back to the community. They’re working with See Kids Dream, a Columbus-based organization that teaches students about community service.
While Compton and Halsell worked, one group of rising 5th graders went from room to room to sell students and teachers lemonade as part of their project. The funds from their lemonade stand will go to the non-profit A Kid Again.
A Kid Again works to provide children with life-threatening conditions and their families with fun, stress-free experiences at places like theme parks and sporting events. The goal is to give these children the chance to get away from the hospital and do something exciting with their families. As the students learned more about the organization, they decided to create this small business to help fund these adventures.
Erick Ramirez was one of the students involved with the stand. He was excited to work with the organization because of its impact on kids in the community.
“[We wanted] to help the kids that are sick go to a place like Disney or Kings Island - different places they want to go,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said their original goal was $35 - the amount needed to give one child an adventure through A Kid Again. When the sales were over and the final amount tallied, the students had raised an expectation-exceeding amount of around $170. They joined in a group hug and declared working on this project was ‘better than recess.’ With the funds, they will be able to help almost five kids go on an adventure.
“They’re very mindful of what it means to give back,” said Nasha Irving, their Summer Experience educator. “They’re helping anyone and everyone they can.”
And it was a very fun way to help out! The lemonade stand was a huge hit. One class presented the students with a card with ‘Your lemonade was delicious’ written on it.
In a kindergarten classroom, a student excitedly waited for her lemonade as she exclaimed, “This is going to be the best lemonade ever!”
Dawn Lee-Britt, the See Kids Dream program manager, said projects like this show how students could make a difference in their community, regardless of how old they are.
“Just because they’re kids does not mean that they can’t help their community,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can still make a difference.”