Rosehill Elementary 3rd graders host annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for cancer research

The third graders experience a kindergarten rush at Rosehill Elementary's 5th annual Alex's Lemonade Stand.

Third graders at Rosehill Elementary School on Wednesday served up 25-cent cups of lemonade as the culmination of a unit on economics — and helped a good cause in the process

The third graders hosted the school’s 5th annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand — associated with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization started by parents who lost a daughter to childhood cancer. The foundation raises money and awareness for childhood cancer research and treatment. Assistant Principal Dustin Springer said the third grade teachers are creative with approaches to curriculum in an effort to find ways to involve philanthropy.

“[The teachers] have such huge hearts,” Springer said. “I think when they have an opportunity to tie their economics lesson into being able to give back — and especially to give back to something like childhood cancer — they were all for it. They jumped on it.”

Meghan Spalding, one of the three third grade teachers at the school, said the students created their own businesses last week and tried to make as much money as possible by selling products to second graders. The conversation shifted this week to businesses with the sole intention of helping others, not making money: foundations and nonprofits like Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

There were many jobs available to the students including lemonade pourer.

Students ran the lemonade stand from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and raised $559.36 yesterday. Spalding said the students from the three classes had shifts, and were assigned one of the following jobs: pourer, money handler, photographer, runner and host. Other students made greeting cards and decorations for children currently at Children’s Mercy Hospital, she said.

Additionally, the students and their families donated the cups and lemonade for the stand. Spalding said this helps show the kids that when everyone comes together for a greater purpose than yourself, “something so much bigger can be accomplished.” Acts of kindness intended for others, and not just focusing on yourself, was one of the main lessons of the lemonade stand, she said.

“The organization is something that the kids really connect to, because Alex was their age when she passed away,” Spalding said. “She started lemonade stands and decided she wanted to give the money to hospitals so other kids didn’t have to be sick like her, and it really resonates with the third graders.”