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Copperas Cove 4th grader raises $900 for special education student's homecoming dance

De'Ziyah Gilbert raised the money by selling lemonade on National Lemonade Day.

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — Copperas Cove ISD fourth grader, De'Ziyah Gilbert, sold over $900 in lemonade to pay for special education students to have their own homecoming dance, according to district officials. 

Gilbert created the homecoming dance to allow students to come with their caregiver at no charge, according to the district.

CCISD will host the 4th Annual Homecoming Dance for Exceptional Needs Students on Sept. 10, at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, 408 S. Main Street, Copperas Cove from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

“All of the special education students are invited because I want them all to have their own homecoming dance,” Gilbert said. “I know when I am in high school, I want to attend a homecoming dance. So, this allows all of these kids to have a homecoming dance of their own.”

The House Creek Elementary student raised money as Junior Miss Five Hills alongside her sister, Dorianna, whom began the event as the service project as 2018 Junior Miss Five Hills. The Miss Five Hills Scholarship Program has continued the event each year.

“My sister and I sold a lot of lemonade and people also made donations because we were raising money to help other people,” Gilbert said.

The event will include a live DJ, Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets, snacks from HEB, custom made treats from Zana Crawford, and drinks from Raising Canes. 

Additionally, a Copperas Cove Walmart provided the materials for Gilbert to make mums and boutonnieres for every student attending, at no cost. There will also be a photo station and a red carpet.

Credit: CCISD
De’Ziyah Gilbert uses a glue gun to create mums and boutonnieres.

“The red carpet walk is my favorite part of the dance, well, besides dancing,” Gilbert said. “It is a way to make every one of our guests feel like movie stars because they get to walk the red carpet just like at the Oscars.”

Admittance is free for all CCISD special education students and their caregivers, but tickets must be reserved covespedhomecomingdance.eventbrite.com as attendance is limited.