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'We want to give back,' Ochelata kids sell lemonade for Barnsdall Nursing Home

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 13, 2024

OCHELATA, Okla. — A glass of lemonade for only 75 cents is going a long way in Ochelata.

Students at Caney Valley Elementary opened a lemonade stand to benefit the Barnsdall Nursing Home.

Teacher Larri Castoe said the entire plan came from her students.

"We talked about what they wanted to spend the money on, and immediately, they said 'Hey, we would really like to donate to the nursing home," said Castoe. "You could have a pizza party for everyone, you could have a water day, there were some different options that we gave them. They kept coming back to 'we want to give back.'"

Stemming from a financial literacy summer class, the students wanted to put their lessons to practice.

The fourth and fifth graders developed a business plan and spent a few weeks working out the kinks.

All five students came to an agreement: a lemonade stand.

But it wasn't just about a refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot June day.

Two of the fourth graders had loved ones in the nursing home when the tornado ripped through Barnsdall in May.

"All I know is she really wants to go back because she has lots of friends," said Emily Sellars.

Sellars' great aunt was living there.

Her classmate Kenleigh Martin's grandmother has been staying at her house since the tornado too.

Martin's uncle works at the nursing home and said it's likely the facility will need months of repairs.

“Those people, they want to be in a place that they feel comfortable, and as Kenleigh also stated, she has family that works there, so that’s a lot of comfort and a lot of peace that comes into there because sometimes, being in a nursing home is not always the funnest place to be," said Castoe.

The girls and their classmates spent the afternoon slicing, pouring and stirring, getting ready for their customers.

And they expected a lot.

"I don't want to be overdramatic and say millions, but maybe like 500," said Teagan Jackson, one of the students.

The kids said they planned to sell hundreds of glasses of their lemonade.

However, they know even if they only had a few customers come by, the money they raised is going to a good cause.

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