When Dee Beavers’ class finished reading “The Lemonade War,” they made lemonade.

This was the third straight year for her fourth-grade class at Seymour-Redding Elementary School to read the book and set up lemonade stands in the classroom.

Throughout the day Dec. 19, other classes at the school strolled around the room and visited eight different stands.

Lemonade was available for purchase at each stand, and the students came up with other items to sell, including chips, cookies, candy canes, bracelets and bookmarks. Students also could get their nails painted at one of the stands.

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Everything cost a quarter or two, with proceeds going to the Humane Society of Jackson County and Anchor House, a homeless shelter and food pantry in Seymour.

“A few years ago, I went through some project-based learning,” Beavers said. “I thought, ‘What a great activity to end a book with, especially during Christmastime.’

It just helps them reinforce some of the ideas from the book

and also with the spirit of giving

at Christmastime.”

“The Lemonade War” is about fourth-grader Evan Treski and his younger sister, Jessie, who start a lemonade stand war. The book contains lessons in business, marketing and math.

Fourth-grader Brody Unterseher said he learned a lot from the book, including don’t steal and don’t start something you can’t finish. The lessons about business were important, too, he added.

“It was a fun activity to do, and it teaches you a lot about businesses and how they work,” he said. “If you learn about this now, you can learn more in the future, and then it would help your reputation if you want to become a businessman.”

Classmates Kloey Wheeler and Lane Schroer also liked the project.

“We learned what it was like to be going head-to-head, and we’re actually doing it,” Kloey said.

“I just liked handing out the stuff and seeing people happy,” Lane said. “It’s actually really easy because you just have to wait, and whenever people want to buy, you just have to be ready.”

Beavers said when she came across the book, she decided to teach it because it has a lot of good qualities.

“I just think it helps them understand the overall business aspect of things,” she said. “They had to realize that to put on these stands, we had to do a lot of donations. It just helps the community, and they learn a lot by working with others and just teamwork with it.”

Beavers said she liked the interaction between her students and the visiting classes.

“We get a lot of support from our school because they bring their classes down, and they look forward to it,” she said. “It’s just great because I think everybody comes together and works together as a team.”

Among those coming through were Beavers’ former students who read the book and created lemonade stands.

“The one thing I like about this, I don’t think you see the after-effects until later on down the road,” she said. “I’ll have kids that were fifth-graders last year, ‘Oh, are you going to do the lemonade stands?’ They thought that was so much fun. Those are the most rewarding things that you don’t see right away.”

Beavers said it’s neat to see the kids enjoying themselves and doing something worthwhile.

In the past, proceeds went to the Christmas Basket Fund and to two families with ties to Redding.

“I think any time you can give back to your community, that is what it’s all about,” Beavers said. “I think that’s something that kids need to realize, to always give back to their community, because that’s who helps you out.”

The students chose the two local organizations to help.

“It helps out animals in need and people in need, and I think that’s nice,” Lane said.

“It makes me feel really happy that we’re doing this because all of those lost and stray animals are being saved, and Anchor House, all of those people are getting food and getting shelter,” Kloey said. “It makes me very happy to see them getting better.”

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.