Education

With lemonade stand, students hope to honor beloved teacher

Students at St. David’s School in Riverhead are raising money to help keep a beloved educator’s memory alive.

Each Wednesday in May, a group of UPK students set up a lemonade stand at the school, located on Roanoke Avenue, offering lemonade, iced tea and snacks.

According to director Rose Horton, proceeds from the weekly lemonade sale will be used to create a garden in memory of Keri Stromski, who died from breast cancer last month at age 48.

“She was a huge advocate for children and making sure that there are equal opportunities for all,” Ms. Horton said, adding that Keri stood for the community, kindness and doing the right thing. “Those are things we try to instill in the students that come through here as well,” she said. “We wanted to do something to keep her memory alive here.”

All three of Ms. Stromski’s children attended preschool at St. David’s and this year, two remote learners in her Aquebogue kindergarten class attend the school.

Tributes to Ms. Stromski are already appearing in the schoolyard with colorful rocks spelling out her name, as well as the Blue Waves logo and messages of positivity.

Last week, Ms. Horton said, the stand raised over $350 and will be open twice more on Wednesday, May 19 and May 26 from 11:10 a.m. to noon and again from 3:10 to 3:30 p.m.

It’s the third year students at St. David’s are getting experience giving back. Two years ago, a student-run lemonade stand raised more than $1,000 for Peconic Bay Medical Center. While unable to host a stand last year due to the pandemic, students held a food drive and donated lunch to local veterans.

Ms. Horton said that in addition to teaching kids about giving back, the stand has been a good way to practice counting and social skills. “It’s a really sweet way they get to build up their confidence talking with people,” she said. “It’s nice to see them break out of their shell.”