Class Gets a Hands-On Lesson in Giving

After selling popcorn and muffins to fellow students all year, a third-grade class at Carpenter Avenue Elementary School donated the proceeds to a Los Angeles-area environmental organization Thursday.

Twenty students from Lydia Friedlich's class presented a $1,500 check to TreePeople, a nonprofit charity based in Beverly Hills.

"This experience has taught the students aspects of business, philanthropy and of contributing to the community," Friedlich said.

Every Friday over the past school year, the children took turns selling the 50-cent bags of popcorn and $1 muffins during recess. In the school's auditorium Thursday the students read essays on the experience of raising money for TreePeople. Students talked about what it was like to sacrifice recess once a month and to give something back to the community.

"Mrs. Friedlich and her students are an inspiration to classrooms across the county in empowering them to believe that they can make a difference in restoring the environment," said Jeff McElroy, vice president of TreePeople.

McElroy said the organization's mission is to inspire others to take responsibility for improving their neighborhoods by offering educational and training programs and planting trees.

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