The kids at Bethesda's Carderock Springs Elementary School are learning more than just academics. They’ve discovered how great it is to help others.
It started at the beginning of October with a book called “The Lemonade Ripple: An Adventure in Philanthropy” by Paul Reichert, the father of a Carderock student. The story tells of a young girl who opens a lemonade stand to help get a new wheelchair for her friend, which creates a “lemonade ripple” that draws the whole community to help.
What the book did in Bethesda was to inspire students from kindergarten to the fifth grade to do their own acts of charity all through the month of October, visiting nursing homes or selling items to raise money for charity. One second grader created and sold homemade cards; a fourth-grader donated clothes and toys to the Salvation Army. Others made pictures for teachers or gave toys to the National Center for Children.
At the end of October, the students donated the $1,860.50 they’d earned to a Bethesda organization called “Just Tryan It,” a nonprofit that gives financial assistance to the families of children fighting cancer. And they’re not stopping now that October is over. During November they’ll hold a winter coat drive for the needy, and students plan to adopt families that they can help for the upcoming holiday season. The fourth-grader who gave to the Salvation Army is now getting socks and creams for homeless people with diabetes.
The book shows how small acts of kindness can lead to wonderful things, and a group of elementary school students put the idea into action. Bethesda is filled with great people, excellent schools, and a community that cares for others.
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