Thursday, August 16, 2018
[Fergus Falls, MN] Lake Region Healthcare’s Pediatric Therapies department held a special summer session to help children learn to communicate and interact socially with peers called “Social Butterflies.”
During the course of the summer, four groups representing 22 total kids met regularly to learn and practice the skills such as saying “hi”, understanding personal space, taking turns when in a group, and sharing. Two groups were younger children (3-4, 4-5) and two groups were older kids (6-7, 7 and older).
At the conclusion of the course, the kids set up a lemonade stand in the hospital lobby. “The purpose of the lemonade stand was to give the kids an opportunity to use the skills they had learned this summer in a social and public situation,” according to Speech Pathologist Kathleen Rausch, MA/CCC-SLP.
The kids greeted customers, poured their lemonade, figured out the change when needed, and helped staff who ordered more than one cup carry it to their office. “We had so many staff people stop at the lemonade stand to buy lemonade, the LRH staff were especially great customers,” she said.
After the sales were done, Rausch said they talked with the kids about not using the money for themselves, but instead to give it to others who need help. The children decided to donate the proceeds to the Cancer Care & Research Center. “Even our young children have known people with cancer, it's affected their lives too,” Rausch said.
Based on the program’s success this summer, Rausch said they plan to offer this program again in summer of 2019.
Staff at the Cancer Care & Reserach Center accept the lemonade stand proceeds from Social Butterflies students Alex Dietz, Hudson Holmquist, Elisha Pederson, Scott Pederson, and Aaron Kimmes (students are seated on the couch).