This spring, schools in Little Rock and all across Arkansas have been participating in the novel Family Financial Literacy program, Arkansas Reads One Book.
What is Family Financial Literacy? That’s when a whole school community, district, or state (!) reads a fine, quality children’s novel together, exploring its themes and sparking a rich community-wide conversation. (That’s Family Literacy.) But when the novel in question – The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies – involves economics (in this case dueling lemonade stands), it allows schools and families to also explore some math and basic economic principles. (That’s Financial Literacy.) Put ’em together and you’ve got…Family Financial Literacy.
Reading the The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies, Arkansas’ mission to read one book has been widely successful with schools, parents, and students. Schools across the state have worked to explore and develop fun, story-related activities that both get the kids excited to read and teach them something about math and family economics.
Mabelvale Elementary in Little Rock, Arkansas sold handmade items like personally designed mugs and gave the proceeds to The Animal Village, a local animal shelter. One 4th grade student, Madison B., said of her experience:
“I really enjoyed the Lemonade War. My group and I were successful with our Snack Shop. The most important thing I learned was if you are creating a business, make sure you have a good product and keep track of your money.”
Treva M., a 2nd grade teacher, also expressed her excitement:
“As a class, we created a tri-fold poster. We made both pink and yellow lemonade. We sold it for .50 cents a cup. We also sold Oatmeal Crème Pies, Twinkies, and chocolate dipped Oreos. We also raffled off a large can of Country Time Lemonade. Overall the students had a wonderful experience reading and discussing the book.”
Similarly, The Pointe, a day treatment facility in Little Rock where students receive both an education and therapeutic services, was thrilled to participate in AROB. What’s really amazing about the Pointe, though, is that although they were not at their home schools, students, faculty and families took concepts from The Lemonade War and ran with them. They staged their own lemonade war where teachers made lemonade with students as judges. Then, they sold the drinks to out-patient offices. Students made and decorated their own lemonade stand. By the end, they were able to donate $500 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Coordinator of Alternative Agencies, Janice Lehmann, expressed, “This project and The Pointe’s willingness to participate was a Win-Win situation for all. It certainly reached beyond the typical school building.”
Little Rock School District Superintendent, Mike Poore, wrote of the Pointe:
“I can’t make this up. This adds to the pride we all feel about the support we have provided to The Lemonade War. These students are in some of the most challenged of situations yet look what came of their inclusion. Thank you for Janice for believing in this project and taking it to students at the Pointe!”