The organizers of a national non-profit, founded in Houston and kicking off this year in Dallas, want you to see the project’s life-lessons for children and teens – such as entrepreneurship and financial literacy – and they’re hoping you’ll jump in and find a way to help.
Lemonade Day is a free, community-wide, educational initiative designed to teach young people how to start, own and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. It seeks to help kids set goals, develop a business plan, establish a budget, seek investors, provide customer service, save for the future and give back to the community. The targeted child is in elementary school, but curriculum for teens is also available, and more than 200,000 kids were impacted last year.
The idea is that on one day – Sunday, May 4th, 2014 – kids in 36 cities across America (and Canada) will set up lemonade stands. In some cases, the stands will be hosted by scout troops, t-ball teams or other organizations raising funds to take a trip, buy uniforms, go to camp or fill some other need. Many, however, will have a purely selfish motive – profit. The kids will be learning about building “sweat equity” and about the gratification of earning your own money. (They’ll be encouraged to save part of their earnings and share some, as well.)
Houston entrepreneur Michael Holthouse, who founded the program in 2007, was inspired by lessons he taught his young daughter when she and her friend set up a lemonade stand in their neighborhood. Holthouse wanted to share the idea that entrepreneurs take risks believing they can realize their dream if they hard work, take responsibility and act as good stewards of their resources.
Every child (and group of children) require a caring adult to participate. Businesses are needed to provide financial backing, make in-kind donations, offer locations for stands and provide other support. Are you a soccer coach or Girl Scout leader? Do you run an after school program or mentor at-risk youth? Do you manage a lumberyard that can donate wood for stands or run a fast-food restaurant that can give a high-profile location? Everyone can find some way to get this project started.
You can go online to learn more about Lemonade Day, and you can register here to get your student’s packet of materials. (Instructions include health department guidelines, practical tips like “Keep your receipts to tally up expenses”, and suggested role play, including what to say to customers.) You can also email City Director Peggy Bessellieu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atta-baby, kids. Go get ‘em.