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HUDSON -- Students will be squeezing lemons to make profits beginning April 29 after Mayor David Basil April 4 proclaimed May "Lemonade Day" month.
Residents will see lemonade stands on the weekends as students put their entrepreneur skills to the test.
Lemonade Day is a national initiative to educate youth about how to start, own and operate a business. In addition they learn about choosing a charity and giving back to the community.
The annual Lemonade Day program began in 2011 in Northeast Ohio and students from the Hudson City Schools, Hudson Montessori School and Seton Catholic School participate in the program. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Hudson Community Foundation and city of Hudson support the program. Teams can obtain loans from the foundations, which they pay back. Each team donates at least 25 percent of its profits to a chosen charity.
Residents are encourage to support the students by buying a glass of lemonade from the stands and asking questions about their business experience.
The Montessori students will be selling lemonade on April 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hudson Montessori teacher Laura White said 29 students on 12 teams will be setting up stands around Hudson.
Some of the locations to purchase lemonade will be at the Hudson library, Vertical Runner, the Learned Owl Book Shop, The Greenhouse, Great Clips, Chipotle, Ace hardware and others.
Before the sale date, students will appear before an in-house loan board for start-up funding, White said. Most loans average $25 or $30.
"They get to role play when asking for their loans," White said. "They also practice how they treat customers."
The Morgan Leaders from Western Reserve Academy will work with the students to work on a budget process, banners and T-shirts, White said.
"They learn to set goals of what they want to make as a project with a saving goal and a sharing goal," White said. "They set their business plan such as which lemonade they want to sell and if they want to sell other products with it."
In addition, students create a budget and figure out costs and determine profits, White said.
"It's real world," White said. "They're starting their own business and thinking about all the things they have to do to start their own business."
Some of the charities the students will donate a portion of their profits to include the Wounded Warriors, Red Cross, Humane Society, Feeding America, Steward's Caring Place, Akron Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.
"The greatest part is they get excited about running their own business," White said. "If they go through all these steps, they'll earn money and can share with a charity and buy something they want."
Seton Catholic School
The Seton Catholic School students will set up lemonade stands May 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Teachers Christian Roppel and Hannah Mueller said 52 fifth graders are participating in the entrepreneur program.
The lemonade stands will be located at Chipolte, Great Clips, Huntington Bank, Lulus, the kiosk between Chicos and Talbots in First & Main, Ace hardware, Hudson library, the Learned Owl Book Shop, Vertical Runner and Pets Supplies Plus in Streetsboro.
Students incorporate core subjects such as math and English and special classes like art and religion for the project, Roppel said.
The students will go before the loan board April 27 to ask for start-up funds, Roppel said. They prepare with questions they will have to answer such as where they are donating their money. They also have to have a business plan with costs and items needed.
Some of the teams create business cards, advertisement jingles and a commercial that is played on the morning announcements, Roppel said.
Mueller said students also learn how to be accountable and work as a team by being able to compromise and make choices.
"It's a great lesson for all the students," Mueller said.
Principal Karen Alestock said Seton Catholic School has participated for seven years. "The benefits have been enormous," Alestock said.
Not only do students learn business and financial skills, but they learn about collaboration toward a common goal.
"They are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow," Alestock said. "They need to think outside the box so my life will be better. I'm counting on them to take care of me and the growth of our world is in a positive way."
The project helps students develop their creative skills in different ways than they normally do in school, Alestock said.
"We have seen such incredible benefits to our students," she said. "This is what learning is truly about in our schools."
Members of the community are encouraged to ask questions of the students when purchasing lemonade at the stands.
"They love being out in the community, and we are asking the community to support our students as they show off their entrepreneur skills," Alestock said.
East Woods School
Fifth grade teacher Steve VanderSchie said 75 students with 18 lemonade stands will be selling lemonade May 13, 20 and 21.
Locations include Great Clips, the Learned Owl Book Shop, Vertical Runner, Ace Hardware and the Hudson library.
The students will go before the Hudson Community Foundation loan board in early May and present a 90-second elevator pitch followed by questions by the bankers, VanderSchie said.
"We encourage them to play to their strengths and let the loan board know what separates their stand from the others," VanderSchie said.
Parent chaperones take the students shopping and monitor the stands, he said.
"Some parents come in to guest speak about their entrepreneurial experience," VanderSchie said.
Parents don't contribute any money but can volunteer their time, he said. The students budget everything they purchase and shop to prevent waste.
"They have to figure out how not to have leftover water or mix, so they end up converting ounces to gallons and factoring in their cup sizes," he said.
Students are researching charities to choose from such as Pawsibilities, The American Cancer Society and Make-A-Wish.
Students learn from the experience," VanderSchie said.
"They strengthen their skills not only with math, public speaking and economic standards but also on how to work in a group," VanderSchie said. "Many students are working with group members they've never worked with before, and they are excelling on traits such as unity, compromise and how to build each other up."
Residents should mark their calenders for April 29, 30, May 6, 7, 13, 20, 21 and work up a thirst for lemonade.