To educate children on the operation of a small business and help teach important life skills, Lemonade Day will be coming back for year two in Louisville next spring. To learn more about this wonderful endeavor and how it’s changing the community, we spoke with Lemonade Day Louisville City Director Lauren Coulter.
What is Lemonade Day?
Lemonade day is a fun and interactive way for kids to learn how to start their own business using a lemonade stand. The program has 15 lessons that teach the basic principles of creating a product, buying materials, paying back investors, then deciding what to do with the profit. The kids are encouraged to “spend” some on themselves, “save” some for the future and “share” with a person or organization in their community. These lessons are taught through a workbook and are then put into action through an experiential event – the creation of their actual lemonade stand. All participants receive a backpack that contains the training materials, a “mentor guide” for mentor participation, and fun rewards, such as a piggy bank for their savings, from our partners. The program is entirely free to participants.
What is its history in Louisville?
Lemonade Day national has been around for 10 years now, but we just had our first Lemonade Day here in Louisville. We will be having our second Lemonade Day in Spring 2018!
Why is it important for the greater community?
The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow. Financial literacy is acquired through skills that are often learned outside of the traditional classroom. Many children in Louisville have no one to teach these much needed skills. Lemonade Day participants acquire 21st-century skills in the specific areas of goal-setting and problem solving, and they gain self-esteem – all of which are critical skills for future success.
How do you hope it affects change in Louisville’s youth?
The Lemonade Day program builds healthy communities through targeting six of the 40 Developmental Assets to include Social Competencies (Planning and Decision Making), Positive Identity (Personal Power, Self-Esteem, Sense of Purpose, Positive View of Personal Future) and Empowerment (Community Values Youth).
The Louisville community benefited from the Lemonade Day program this year as evidenced by participants who reported in their lemonade stand business results. Participants saw average revenues of $247, with the highest revenue stand selling $572 of lemonade and goodies. The average profit was $202; 90 percent of participants paid back their investor. Additionally, 90 percent of participants “shared” a portion of their profits with the community, with an average share amount of $80. These “shared” donations were given to local organizations like Cedar Lake Lodge, WHAS Crusade for Children and Blessings in a Backpack. We hope that year two will bring increased program participation. We would expect to see these results expand throughout the Louisville community, propelling a wide variety of youth to success they likely would not have pursued otherwise.
Any big developments on the horizon?
In year one, we piloted Lemonade Day in six of the YMCA CEP sites, reaching 180 kids through this avenue alone. An additional 200 kids participated “one on one,” working through program materials with a mentor. Our goal is build on each of our recruitment channels, increasing our involvement with YMCA CEP sites and “one on one” child-parent/mentor participation throughout the Louisville community. Our goal for the next two years is to grow participation in this project in areas of Louisville where increases in education, and specifically in financial literacy, would have the greatest impact. The Greater Louisville Project’s (GLP) 2015 Competitive City Report showed that four neighborhoods (Russell, Portland, Phoenix Hill/Smoketown/Shelby Park and South Central Louisville) have the greatest challenges and barriers in the areas of health, education, employment, earning potential and even life expectancy, and therefore have the most potential to benefit from this program. Our goal would be to employ targeted recruitment strategies in these neighborhoods, working closely with trusted organizations in these neighborhoods (churches, community centers, etc.) to help increase awareness and participation.
How can readers get involved?
We would love to engage more kids in Lemonade Day! Whether it be through social organizations, youth clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl and Boy Scouts – we would love to engage more kids. If readers would like to bring Lemonade Day to their group, they can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, we are raising funds for year two of this endeavor. They can give online at louisville.lemonadeday.org. VT