Children turn out for Lemonade Day University

By BRITTANY FHOLER 
Cove Leader-Press 

More than 30 kids and their parents attended Lemonade Day University at the Copperas Cove Police Department’s Community Room Tuesday evening to learn what it takes to be their own boss for the 2019 Lemonade Day. 
Lemonade Day is held the first weekend of May nationwide and provides school age children the opportunity to start, own and operate their very own business in the form of a lemonade stand. 
This year marks 10 years for the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day, which has seen more than 21,000 youth participate, raising over $62,000 from Lemonade Day weekend since the beginning, with more than $22,000 donated to charity. 
Lemonade Day University, also called Lemon U, is a one-hour class that breaks down the steps required to start a business, beginning with setting a goal for spending, saving, sharing and learning; coming up with a budget; making a plan to find an investor or business partner; selecting a location to sell at; coming up with type of product and design for a stand; advertising the stand and product; and working the plan, selling the lemonade. 
This year, students with Central Texas College Net Impact helped facilitate the Lemon U, breaking the kids up by age group and breaking down the lesson material to suit each group. 
CTC professor Chastity Clemons shared that the Net Impact is a student-led organization. Clemons sits on the advisory council for the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day and brings her students to the meetings so they gain experience, while also assisting with all the Lemonade Day events. 
This year marked the first year Net Impact students helped facilitate Lemon U, but Clemons said it was neat for everybody to get together and for the college students to see the excitement of the children over the whole process. 
“To be able to break down profit and revenue and sales to a nine year old and to see that light bulb go off is amazing,” Clemons said. 
The college students get to take what they are learning in their own courses and share it with the youth, which is especially important now when students are being taught more to pass a test and move on to the next grade, Clemons added. 
“This kinds of allows them to connect  reality, and small business is what runs the United States,” Clemons said. “I mean, that’s the engine that runs America and we need to develop the next generation of small business owners.”
While the kids learned about entrepreneurship, parents were able to ask questions and register for Lemonade Day, which is May 4-5. 
The majority of those present were new to the program, according to Samantha Ricciardi, the project coordinator for the Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day. 
“It’s something that they take ownership in, and just to see them be able to do this program is truly remarkable to see their ideas and their vision and just where they’re thinking,” Ricciardi said. “We have kids that just go above and beyond in this community, that just wow you and it’s amazing to see that, even at such a young age, what our youth are able to do.”
Hayley Sawyer, 8, is one of the youth that is a repeat participant, having participate for three prior years and winning “Most Unique Lemonade” in the Lemonade Tasting Contest last year for her berry-infused lemonade. 
Sawyer played her violin at her lemonade stand last year, adding a fun twist to bring in customers. 
Her mother, Amanda Sawyer, said Hayley’s already thinking about her location and lemonade stand for this year. 
“She’s gained a love for being able to come up with her own business idea and to execute it and to strive to do better because you know we’ve been honest to the numbers and things didn’t work out as well as she’d hoped, so this year, she’s all about location, location, location, so we’re trying to secure a good spot for her so she can do her best,” Sawyer said. 
Hayley said she learned more about choosing a location and focusing on her saving, spending and sharing goals through Tuesday’s Lemon U. 
In 2017, Sawyer donated proceeds to the Bluebonnet Equine Society for horses, and in 2018, donated to the Copperas Cove Animal Shelter and set aside a portion for violin training at the Greater Austin Suzuki Association’s Summer Institute. For 2019, Sawyer plans on donating to the American Heart Association. 
For more information regarding Lemonade Day, visit the Fort Hood Area website at https://lemonadeday.org/fort-hood-area
 

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