Lemonade Day - Volunteer
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Hundreds of Fairbanks kids learn business basics on nationwide Lemonade Day 2012
Alden Jerome, 9, and his sister Emma Jerome, 11, sell Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins a cup of
lemonade from their lemonade stand Sunday during the Fairbanks Lemonade Day. The
nationwide event, which was observed in various places throughout Alaska, is aimed at teaching
kids business basics.
FAIRBANKS — For hundreds of kids around the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Sunday was a chance to brush up on business fundamentals, marketing and profit margins all through the time-honored tradition of lemonade stands.
Sisters Acacia and Amaya Johnson learned they probably couldn’t sell cookies for $1,000. Alde n and Emma Jerome found that a bigger sign might have brought in more customers. And Leeanna and Cheyenne Morris learned that the hardest part can be finding the perfect name.
It was all part of Lemonade Day, a national event that aims at teaching kids the value of a dollar by helping them develop a business plan, including understanding debt, profit and customer service, to sell the sweet-and-sour summertime drink.
“Entrepreneurship and financial literacy is a foreign language to most people” said Rebecca Leivdal, a University of Alaska Fairbanks business student and Lemonade Day Interior City Manager.
More than 300 kids signed up to participate in the Fairbanks event, which was organized by volunteer students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Associated Students of Business. There were also events in Anchorage, Southeast, the Mat-Su Valley and even in Nome and Barrow.
The program is flexible, allowing kids to run a lemonade stand the way they chose; everything from drinks to baked goods was up to them. The UAF stu dents did much of the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting with negotiating with businesses to have stands and worked with the city and state to make sure the kids don’t run afoul of business and health safety requirements.
And, like the real world of business, the Lemonade Day event also included a competitive element, which judged the stands for profitability, customer service and a slew of other good-business practices.
The organizers also put together a bus with local officials, including city of Fairbanks Mayor Jerry Cleworth and Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, to tour the stands.
Any profit the kids made yesterday is theirs.
Leeanna and Cheyenne Morris, 12 and 8 respectively, chose to give some of their earnings to the local heart disease foundation, With All Your Heart, and kept the rest to pay for sports and education camps.
“We learned a lot,” Leeanna Morris said. “The hardest part was coming up with a name, we changed it about 10 or 15 times. It was really fun.”
The sisters settled on “Golden Heart Lemonade” and sold regular and strawberry lemonade.
And it wasn’t all just about business and profits; for some it was an opportunity to grow in other areas. Maryann Johnson, mother of Acacia and Amaya, 8 and 7 respectively, said she got her daughters involved because Acacia is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Taking drink orders, preparing drinks, counting money and interacting with people are all key skills that are tricky for Acacia, but on Sunday she was smiling wide as she and her sister sold lemonade and watched their jar fill with dollar bills, part of which was going to the Autism Society of Alaska.
Their aunt, Lisa Kozarik, was one of many family members to help out with the stand on Sunday and was happy to see her niece smiling and goofing around.
“What a good way to raise money and teach some real-world skills,” she said.
Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Hundreds of Fairbanks kids learn business basics on nationwide Lemonade Day