Lemonade Day Houston: Students & Lemonade Stands
Young Entrepreneurs at HISD, Spring Branch, Ford Bend & Alief
by Bernadette Verzosa
Lemonade Day Houston: May 3, 2015
This spring, more than 50,000 students at Houston area schools are learning to be entrepreneurs. They are preparing business plans to launch lemonade stands. It’s all part of Lemonade Day, a program that was created to inspire children to work hard and understand the fundamentals of owning a company. To properly implement the curriculum, Lemonade Day Houston is collaborating with Houston Independent School District (HISD), Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD), Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) and Alief Independent School District.
Schools customize the Lemonade Day program according to the needs of their families. Although the official Lemonade Day is on Sunday, May 3, many students are setting up pop-up shops on alternate days.
For example, Windsor Village Elementary School students set up their stands on school grounds during school hours. This year, 769 students have signed up to participate. Kindergarten teacher Rocio Martin is the campus coordinator. She says the school carves out time to offer the important lessons of Lemonade Day. “There are so many things learned through this experience. They learn about financial literacy, supply and demand, advertisement, cooperation, counting money, goods and services,” she says.
Martin says this is the fifth straight year the school is celebrating Lemonade Day because the teachers and parents see the benefits. “During my previous years, the students were so excited. They were so proud of their product and overjoyed when their parent, sibling or teacher would buy their lemonade. They had a real sense of responsibility for what they were doing. They worked hard and understood it was important,” she says. “Seeing their reactions and knowing they were learning and having fun is what satisfied me. I think many teachers can agree that’s our mission – to engage students with learning while teaching them skills and knowledge they will use in the future.”
Across town at Lyons Elementary School, teacher Eugenia Gomez-Warren started a Lemonade Club with extra twists. “I wanted to sneak more real learning into the club including the real math experience they are getting from making and testing batches of lemonade, cost projections, and learning business vocabulary such as corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships as well as business concepts such as branding, logos and slogans.” Their stands may even offer lemonade and popcorn “combos.”
The students at Lyons Elementary School plan to set up at neighborhood stores on the official Lemonade Day: Sunday, May 3. Many other children around the city are selling lemonade in front of their homes or at local parks – so walk around with pocket change and support these young entrepreneurs on Lemonade Day!
LEMONADE DAY HISTORY
Founder Michael Holthouse launched Lemonade Day here in Houston in 2007 with a vision “to empower today’s youth to be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” He wanted to create a hands-on program that could teach children how to start and operate their own businesses.
Each registrant receives a free Entrepreneur Workbook that teaches 14 lessons including creating budgets, serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to the community.
Lemonade Day started with 2,700 participants in Houston. The event has grown and expanded each year. This year, about 250,000 children in 50 cities in the United States and Canada plan to set up lemonade stands. The event has evolved with technology and trends – Lemonade Day now offers online workbooks, educational videos and social media contests and activities.
“We seek to help children see the opportunity that is in front of them. Instead of giving them a fish to feed them for a day, we want to teach them how to fish so that it lasts a lifetime.” says Colleen McCauley, Executive Director of Lemonade Day Houston.
Organizers say they hope to bring the entrepreneurial experience to one million children in 100 cities someday soon.