Driving through the twin cities a couple weeks ago, Bryan and College Station, it was not unlikely that you ran upon a lemonade stand or two. These small makeshift stands littered the city and were stationed upon many street corners and in front of numerous bigger businesses. Star wars characters greeted some customers, while enthused young girls in yellow shirts and bows sold lemonade to others. There were kids who chose to blow bubbles to draw in his customers, while other kids opted for large booths with loud music to draw in attention. And of course, there was the always traditional modest sized lemonade stand and signs operated by some.
When kids were asked what they were going to do with the money they earned, some replied they were going to “spend it!” Others decided to give the money they raised to their church. The main point is that the children learned how to work for money and learned that they had the freedom to decide what they were going to do with the profit they earned. They were allowed to feel grown up and allowed a taste of the real world. This type of experience excites children and allows them the freedom to make decisions for themselves.
Sunday May 6 was Lemonade Day in 31 cities across America and Canada, including Bryan and College Station. When Lemonade Day first began, it included about 2,700 kids. Now, more than 120,000 kids across these 31 cities participate in the day. Lemonade Day was started as a program to give experience to children, teaching them entrepreneurship skills. Kids learn to plan, start, and operate a business through their experiences with Lemonade Day.
Kids were offered the chance to mark their lemonade stands on a map online that would be available to the community on Lemonade Day. The stand locations were given the opportunity to be published not only to the online map, but also to Facebook, Twitter, and via email.
The goal is to prepare children to be empowered future citizens. Upon registering, each child received a backpack that contained an Entrepreneur Workbook, teaching them 14 lessons that are a central part of Lemonade Day. They learned how to create budgets, how to set profit-making goals, how to serve customers, how to repay investors, and how to give back to the community. In addition to learning how to perform these skills, they also learned the value of the skills. The children are also taught how to set goals for themselves, how to problem solve, and how to gain self-esteem which will aid them in their future endeavors for success.
On Lemonade Day, children are allowed to keep all of the money that they make and are encouraged by adults to spend some of their money, save some of it, and share some of it with others less fortunate.
Lemonade Day teaches kids a very special and specific set of skills from financial literacy and economics, to college readiness and career, to life skills and personal development, and of course academics. The financial literacy and economics that the kids learn include subjects like capital equipment and consumables, supply and demand, credit, debt, gross and net income, marginal utility, return on investment and compound interest. To prepare kids for college, they are exposed to critical thinking and collaboration, interest in attending college, civic responsibility, customer service, teamwork and problem solving and presentation skills and design. Children also learn life skills and personal development such as leadership, the belief that attaining goals is within reach, personal productivity, self-direction and time management, social responsibility and charity, high order thinking and social skills and self confidence. The day also increases the kids’ academic capacities such as math calculations, reading and interpreting data, and oral and written communication.
Lemonade Day offers an online website for kids to register and sign up on. Lemonade Day sponsors and partners include many businesses and individuals in the area, including Dick and Linda Lester, Lenae Heubner, Atmos Energy, Double Dave’s Pizzaworks, James and Paula Lancaster, Research Valley, Len and Nancy Berry, Mathnasium, Caldwell Companies, AgniTEK, Wells Fargo, Research Valley Funds, Blue Baker, Documation, Copy Corner, Kroger, Ecolyse, Brazos Valley Small Business Development Center, College Station ISD, Bryan Broadcasting, The Eagle, Chamber of Commerce, Bryan ISD, Sideshow Creative, the City of College Station, KBTX Media, Brazos Monthly, KAMU, Mays Business School, AbouTown Press, KAGS, and the City of Bryan.
If you like to help out with and work with children, then you may want to consider becoming a volunteer for Lemonade Day. Volunteers are necessary to run Lemonade Day and are needed to stuff backpacks that are given out to the children to teach them entrepreneurship, spread the news about Lemonade Day by distributing materials to local schools and youth organizations, register youth to participate at special events going on in the community, and lastly you can help out by blogging, tweeting, or sharing information about Lemonade Day online or through Facebook!
PS – Susan Hilton is Bryan College Station, Texas’ real estate specialist in foreclosure sales and real estate agent career building so if you need help – CALL! 979-219-3970