Classmates and best friends Serena Dantzler and Abby Golik counted change for lemonade, cookies and cupcakes.
Rather than a math exercise in their fourth-grade class at Al Seeliger Elementary Schools, the girls were exercising real-life customer service skills and giving back to the community on Saturday.
With a table set up at the corner of Saliman and Sonoma streets, next to the beginning of the bike and walking trail, the pair were raising money for their school. Their concern has grown through the year as they’ve seen supplies and extra-curricular activities cut due to school district budget cuts.
“We were running out of paper for the class and my teacher (Linda Csiga) had to buy paper herself,” said Abby as she explained how the idea came about.
“We aren’t taking any field trips,” Serena added.
The girls’ “Cute Café” had a steady stream of friends, neighbors and passers-by on Saturday. Abby and Serena pointed to their menu and price list explaining to customers what they planned to do with their profits. They rotated their stock of cookies and cupcakes from the cooler to the table as needed to keep their offerings looking fresh.
Moms Angila Golik and Fran Dantzler stood nearby talking to friends, taping down the tablecloth when the breeze came up, and helping on the rare occasions the girls needed help.
Golik, a teacher at Carson High School, originally heard about the girls’ plans in the car. After a moment of counting the costs in time and supplies, she was all in and she made sure the school administration was OK with the idea, too.
“How can you say ‘no’?” she said of her daughter’s selfless plans. “I told her ‘you bet.’”
“I’m proud of them, definitely,” Dantzler said.
Most of Saturday’s customers were friends who had heard about the project at school or on Facebook. However, the Cute Café will be open again from 1-3 p.m. the next two Saturdays, May 4 and 11. Anyone wanting to donate to the school also can contact Golik at firstname.lastname@example.org.