Middle school students from Maplewood and South Orange will get a taste of what it’s like to run a small business this Sunday, when they host their own lemonade stands throughout the two towns as part of a nationwide event.
National Lemonade Day teaches children basic business and entrepreneurial skills by helping them to operate lemonade stands in their communities. This is the first time New Jersey is participating in the program.
“Lemonade stands are an old-fashioned thing that many kids just don’t do anymore,” said Diane Malloy, executive director of YouthNet, which is sponsoring the event locally. Students are also getting advice from Montclair State University business professor (and Maplewood resident) Roger Solomon.
“This is a terrific opportunity for kids to get involved in their communities, be entrepreneurs and have fun,” said Malloy. “It teaches valuable lessons about working independently and collectively.”
With YouthNet’s guidance, around 40 students have been creating budgets, purchasing supplies, devising recipes, designing advertising and most importantly – learning how to make a profit and repay their investors. YouthNet is providing seed money to some participants, others are getting help from their parents.
“Some kids are keeping the money they make, and some are donating it to various charities,” said Malloy. Stands will be set up in front of houses, in both village downtowns and in parks.
Lemonade Day started in Houston, TX in 2007 and grew to over 27,000 lemonade stands selling two million glasses of lemonade throughout the city. Over half a million dollars was donated to a variety of charities. The initiative went national in 2010, and now over 66,000 kids participate.
“The students have been working hard and they are very enthusiastic,” said Malloy, who hopes to expand the event in coming years. “I hope everyone comes out to support them on Sunday.”