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Greencastle students raise money for cancer research

November 13, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- It is 1 p.m. on a Thursday and the excited voices in room 206 drift out into the hallway of the Greencastle-Antrim Primary School.

"One hundred, 200, 300, 400," the students said in chorus. "And eight."

What sounds like a counting exercise is actually a bit more than that.

The students are not just counting blocks, balls or sticks. They are counting the money they raised selling lemonade to help eradicate childhood cancer. To be exact, $408.43.

The idea of selling lemonade came from a book, said Jeanette Monteith, teacher of the kids in room 206.

"The kids read 'Lemonade Stand' (by Marcia Vaughan) and decided they wanted their own stand to raise money for a gumball machine," she said.

Monteith explained that in the book, a bear and mouse open a lemonade stand to earn money, but end up drinking all the goods themselves.

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It didn't take long for the kids to earn enough for the small green gumball machine now sitting atop a book shelf in room 206, she said.

"The administration and teachers were incredibly supportive of the kids," Monteith said. "They would come in every day and buy lemonade."

Having reached their goal so quickly, the kids decided they wanted to use their lemonade stand to help others, Monteith said.

The six students from room 206 joined with the national Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation after being inspired by a local boy with cancer and a girl who started her own lemonade stand to raise money for children. That girl, Alexandra "Alex" Scott, also was diagnosed with cancer. She died in 2004.

The foundation's main goal is to fund a cure for childhood cancer, according to its Web site.

"My mom had cancer," said Shanni White, 7, a student in the class. "We sell lemonade to make kids with cancer feel better."

"I'm excited about it because I really want to help kids with cancer," said Mason Lukow.

The class now does not sell the lemonade, in the traditional sense, said 8-year-old Mason.

"Anyone can come and get lemonade, you don't have to donate," he said. "If you don't have money, you can still get some lemonade."

Using the lemonade stand for good has not only inspired the kids to service but has helped grow their math and counting skills, Monteith said.

Before starting the stand, the students struggled with mathematical exercises like counting in multiples, she said. Now they can count with ease.

"Connecting their studies to something tangible, it helps it make sense," Monteith said. "It helps them learn."

The class plans to continue selling lemonade to fellow students and the community through the end of the year, she said. Their goal is to raise as much money as possible for the foundation.

Monteith said the class will have the stand at Heritage Christmas on Dec. 4, 11 and 18.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the efforts of the class can do so by visiting www.alexslemonade.org/stands/19640.

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