Instead of bake sales, families at the Sumner School on Basile Street are making and selling "biodegradable, Borax-free, aromatherapeutic laundry soap handmade from all natural ingredients."
Lauren Cooperstein Corduck, whose daughter Esther is a first grader at the school, got the idea while folding her laundry - laundry she'd cleaned with the homemade soap she'd made herself:
I started making household products (countertop cleaner, toothpaste and laundry soap) in an effort to save money and "green" my family's lifestyle and, in the process, discovered a recipe online for this wonderful laundry soap. I'm the fundraising committee chair for the Sumner Elementary School and had an "a-ha" moment while folding my clean, fresh-smelling (rather than chemical-smelling) laundry a few months ago.
Together with Rebekah Pierson, whose daughter Chloe, is in kindergarten at the school, along with some other parents and kids, they mix the ingredients and pack them into reusable glass jars to raise funds for specialized document cameras, which let teachers project the images on a wall.
But, she adds, students involved in the project are also learning valuable business skills:
Esther added the word "super" to the name of the product, which I was originally calling Sumner Soap. As another example, she knows how to use the Square to process credit card transactions and how to use it to record cash and check transactions. I'm hoping to work with some of the Sumner teachers to develop some lesson plans related to [the soap] that would use the initiative to teach the students business skills and social entrepreneurship.
Birch Street House and Garden, 760 South St. in Roslindale Square is selling the soap; you can also pick up a jar at the Saturday farmers' market in Adams Park.