Friday afternoons at Oak Hills JH will do more than clench your thirst. It’s refreshing to your soul. Students in Mrs. Nispel’s Life Skills and Functional Academics Science class take the halls and deliver pre-ordered lemonade to staff around campus.
“Each kid has a job,” Mrs. Nispel said. “From learning how to knock on the door correctly to accepting cash and tips and even being the one to offer the straw. They all have a role and they take real ownership of it.”
Mrs. Nispel had this science class first period last year and used MISD Education Foundation grant earnings to purchase the carts and supplies to start the Lion’s Grind, selling coffee to staff each Friday morning. Due to schedule changes this year, she had to think around the coffee plan. With t-shirt donations from an OHJH staff member and new wraps for the cart made for them as well, they were ready to teach the kids how to make and sell lemonade.
Students measure and stir the lemonade and are in charge of getting the carts setup as well. When 8th period begins, they have their uniform on and list in hand and are ready to deliver. Additional students called Lion Leaders attend this class daily to support the learning of the Life Skills’ students.
“Our Lion Leaders are a huge help on Fridays,” Mrs. Nispel said. “They carry the cash tray and help my students make it through the delivery list efficiently with their guidance and patience. These helpers are just a wonderful part of this program!”
“”Having the kids sell lemonade and the coffee last year is a great connection time for our entire campus,” Oak Hills JH Principal Tim Williams said. “The teachers get a cold drink, but more importantly the interaction is positive and encouraging for all of our lions. It’s a reminder that we are all in this together.”
And when the work is done, the students enjoy a sweet bit of lemonade themselves. Next on the list is adding a yummy treat to the beverage cart and one of Mrs. Nispel’s students, Molly Messecar, believes the addition should be lemon bars, of course!