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Community Advocacy Organization

LAFCU sweetens learning with cupcakes

Credit union partners with library, school, bakery for a kids’ Zoom event:

LAFCU Listen & Learn Crazy for Cupcakes

Courtesy Photo-Gillian Streeter, bottom left, East Lansing Public Library, connects with Red Cedar Elementary School students for a Storytime during LAFCU Listen & Learn Crazy for Cupcakes. Also pictured are, top from left, Alyssa Troub, LAFCU; Nikki Thompson Frazier, Sweet Encounter Bakery; and Red Cedar third and fourth grade students.

LANSING, Mich. — For National Reading Month, LAFCU took its March 16 Listen & Learn Program into two elementary school classrooms. The featured attraction was cupcakes.

Partners for LAFCU Listen & Learn Crazy for Cupcakes were East Lansing Public Library and Red Cedar Elementary School, East Lansing, and Sweet Encounter Bakery, Lansing.

Via Zoom, Youth Services Librarian Gillian Streeter read the book, “If you Give a Cat a Cupcake,” written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, to third and fourth grade students.

Sweet Encounter Bakery delivered cupcakes prior to the event, and bakery owner Nikki Thompson Frazier led students through a lesson via Zoom on how to decorate the cupcakes with cat faces inspired by the featured book. The bakery specializes in gluten- and peanut-free desserts.

Courtesy Photo-Nikki Thompson Frazier, Sweet Encounter Bakery, demonstrates how to create cat-face decorations on a cupcake during LAFCU Listen & Learn Crazy for Cupcakes. Also pictured are, from top right, Kellie Swiger and Shelia Scott, LAFCU; Gillian Streeter, East Lansing Public Library; and Red Cedar Elementary School third and fourth grade students.

“This is an excellent example of having fun when learning,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer. “Thanks to our partners, the program offered new opportunities for the students to listen, read and interact, which all support engaged reading.

“Our future success depends on our youth, and their future depends on their ability to learn, create and imagine. This is why programs such as Listen & Learn are included in LAFCU’s community outreach.”

The event offered two surprises for the students to extend their learning: A book and an invitation for another free cupcake.

  • With help from the East Lansing library, LAFCU gave each student a copy of the graphic novel, “Yummy: A History of Desserts,” by Victoria Grace Elliott, to encourage continued reading.

  • A coupon for a free cupcake at Sweet Encounter Bakery is available for students at the library as an incentive to visit and explore the library.

LAFCU created the Listen & Learn Program in response to the pandemic to provide a fun, new option for kids up to age 12 to learn, listen, read and interact.

In addition to live events, the LAFCU Listen & Learn Program offers recorded readings of children’s books on the credit union’s YouTube channel,, and by phone, 517.622.6789. Volunteer readers are encouraged to sign up at


Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative open for membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Michigan and to businesses and other entities located in Michigan. The credit union serves more than 70,000 members and holds $949 million in assets. It was named a Best Credit Union to Work For in 2020. LAFCU offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services as well as an expanding complement of financial technology solutions. Members enjoy benefits such as low fees, low interest rates on loans, high yields on savings, discounts, knowledgeable employees and nationwide access to fee-free ATMs. A recipient of the national Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for credit unions, LAFCU enriches the communities it serves by supporting many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU, call 800.748.0228 or visit

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