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Young readers will help Harvey victims
Phil Heeke, Park School principal and Great Bend Reading Initiative coordinator, left, and Tricia Reiser, director of teaching and learning, pose in a lemonade stand made from wooden pallets by Heeke and decorated by his wife, Jane, in this August file photo. This years citywide reading initiative features the book, The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies. - photo by courtesy of USD 428

Great Bend elementary students will have an opportunity help children in Texas schools hit by Hurricane Harvey. The community can participate by visiting the Great Bend Reading Initiative’s lemonade stand, which will be in front of the courthouse during the GBHS Homecoming Parade at 3 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 29.

The colorful lemonade stand will be popping up at schools and other locations during the next four weeks. Even when there’s no actual lemonade for sale, the stand will serve as a collection site for donations, said Phil Heeke, Park Elementary principal.
Great Bend USD 428 is raising money to help LaMarque Elementary School in Texas City, Texas, Heeke said. Holy Family School is also participating in the Great Bend Reading Initiative and will choose its own Texas school to assist.
Organizers realized that in addition to Houston, a lot of Texas schools were affected by Harvey, Heeke said. Texas City was chosen because it is similar in size to Great Bend.

Lemonade War
The lemonade stand is also a visual reminder that hundreds of children will be reading “The Lemonade War,” a novel by Jacqueline Davies. On Monday, every child in grades K-6 at Great Bend USD 428 and Holy Family School will receive a copy of the book to take home.
The books will be accompanied by a reading schedule and other materials, including talking points for each chapter so parents can discuss the story as they read with their children.
“Our goal is to have reading happening at home,” Heeke said.

Teachers can organize their own classroom activities related to the book and the Great Bend Public Library will also have a related activity in the coming weeks.
In homes where Spanish is the primary language spoken, the books and packets will be in Spanish. Heeke said members of the Migrant Parent Advisory Committee are also planning a hurricane relief fundraiser at the district’s Parent Teacher Resource Center.