‘Lemonade’ makes a splash

Published 11:55 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

By: Shayla Terry

On last Thursday Luverne Elementary hosted its 34th annual first grade play with an audience of more than 500 people.

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This year the first graders performed the play “Lemonade”. First grade teacher Cody Carnley said the students put a lot of work into the big day.

“We start in January,” she said. “We start learning the songs, giving out parts and giving out costumes.

The students practiced for their debut one hour each day, but Carnley says that the parents step up and are responsible for the students practicing at home.

“The parents go over the parts with them every night once we give them the roles in late January,” Carnley said.

The play took place in the Luverne High School Gym as opposed to its usual auditorium venue due to the April tornado with macroburst.

“We had to change this year because our auditorium was damaged from the tornado,” Carnley said. “So we had to make lemonade from lemons because we had lots of things come up that inhibited us from doing what we normally do.”

The first grade plays rotate every 12 years, so this year’s graduating class at Luverne High also performed Lemonade as their first grade play.

“The seniors get to the see the play,” Carnley said. “It gives them the opportunity to remember who they were and what they wore before they graduate and go into the world.”

With more than 40 participants in the play, Carnley says that every child that expresses an interest in having a role gets the opportunity to perform. Carnley says the students come into the first grade knowing that they will put on a play.

“They know about the first grade play because as kindergarteners they get to come and watch,” she said. “Because we are a community school, a lot of their parents were in the play when they were in the first grade.”

The Luverne Schools’ PTA, which helps coordinate the event, sells tickets and take donations for the play, which go on to fund the Elaine Goodwin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Elaine Goodwin Memorial Scholarship, named after a former beloved educator within the Luverne School System, is awarded to a senior within the LHS graduating class. The senior will be awarded $2,000 over the span of four years.

“We understand that $2,000 is a lot of money towards education,” Carnley said. “We have voted on for a recipient this year, but the winner has not yet been announced.”

First grader Ashlyn Wright says that the best part about the play was singing the song “When life hands you lemons, Make Lemonade.”“I learned that if life every gives you lemons, you should make lemonade,” Wright said.

Fellow classmate Hayden Wright, who was the Dog That Laughed to See Such a Sight, says he also liked learning and performing the songs.“It was hard work getting up talking in front of everyone, but I saw my parents,” Wright said.

Carnley says she is happy with the turnout, and that it would be possible without the PTA.