Lemonade and a life lesson


You know the premise. Children (and/or mom) mix up a batch of lemonade. A price is set. An eye-catching sign is made. And then they wait for the customers to line up down the block.

For some kids, this timeless pastime is no longer just a summertime hobby. For those kids, Sunday was Lemonade Day.

A Houston-based nonprofit organization took the idea of a simple lemonade stand and turned it into a life lesson for children with Lemonade Day -- a learning program where communities across the nation unite to teach kids how to start, own and operate their own business using a lemonade stand.

Lemonade Day started five years ago in Houston with 2,700 participants. Last year, 54,000 local kids took part as well as 65,000 children in 30 other cities across the U.S.

And the program continues to grow. Events were held Sunday in almost 40 cities in America and Canada, reaching a total of more than 200,000 kids.

Thousands of those participants were right here in the Houston area, where it all began.

Stands were found in Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Chambers and Brazoria Counties.

The ultimate goal is for children and teens to learn the basic principles of business using a hands-on, fun approach.

Lemonade Day doesn't last just a day. It's a month-long process that requires youngsters to set goals, develop a business plan, establish a budget, seek investors, provide customer service, save for the future and give back to the community.

Participants are allowed to make a free website to advertise their stand. They do their own branding, get creative with their product and even compete in video and taste-testing contests to win money and prizes.

For more information on the annual Lemonade Day or to donate to the initiative year-round, visit www.lemonadeday.org.

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