May 10, 2021: Tecumseh lemonade fundraiser teaches skills and benefits local community
A group of Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District students may not have realized it, but they were practicing their academic and social skills and rallying their school community while “selling” lemonade to benefit two local nonprofit organizations.
On April 6 and 9, the Tecumseh Learning Pad held its 7th annual “lemonade stand,” which raised a record-breaking $2,180 with donations split between the Central New York Chapter of the Autism Society of America (CNYASA) and Arise Adaptive Design. The event is annually held in April to coincide with National Autism Acceptance Month.
“It has been the Learning Pad's distinct pleasure to share in Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month with CNYASA and to support the amazing work done at Arise Adaptive Design for so many individuals in the Syracuse area,” said Megan Ames, the Learning Pad’s special education teacher.
The Tecumseh Learning Pad is the district’s 12:1:(3+1) special education classroom housed at Tecumseh Elementary School. The classroom currently includes seven students in grades 1-4 from the district’s three elementary school zones. The students who worked incredibly hard to prepare and run the lemonade stand were Ali Elwan, Iyham Moherem, Skai Reed, Euriah Garr, Jace Albahm, Mason Cosselman and Victor DiRenzo. They served more than 400 bottles of lemonade total.
Lemonade stand activities are woven into classroom activities and instruction. Students use math and science skills when it comes to measuring and mixing the lemonade. They work on marketing skills as they create posters advertising the fundraiser, and they hone their social skills as they develop and practice scripts for greeting their peers and “selling” the lemonade. All students who wanted lemonade were served lemonade regardless if they were donating.
The Learning Pad students were assigned shifts to travel throughout the school with a cart stocked with lemonade. This year, due to COVID-19, they served water bottles with attached lemonade packets in addition to giving out autism awareness bracelets and pencils donated by the CNYASA and stickers donated by Arise Adaptive Designs.
Some Tecumseh families and alumni brought donations to the school. Several students brought in change from their piggy banks, and other students brought in change that they and their families had been saving for the past year.
“A huge thank you to all throughout the entire Jamesville-Dewitt community for the ongoing support to make this a successful event year-after-year,” Ames said. “My heart is filled with gratitude.”