This Saturday is officially Lemonade Day in Dallas, so swing into REI and Half Price Books and grab yourself a tall glass of Berry Cool Lemonade, Lemonade Heaven or one of the other delicious and creative concoctions conceived by mini-entrepreneurs at Heart House. Heart House, a local education nonprofit, serves immigrant and refugee students in the Vickery Meadow area.
Lemonade Day teaches kids in grades K-5 how to start, own and operate their own business. The curriculum builds self-reliance and financial literacy while teaching important business and entrepreneurial skills. Kids must develop a recipe, taste-test the creation, market the product and communicate to customers. They also formulate a budget, learn to save, handle their finances and develop problem-solving skills.
Lemonade Day lessons include donating some of their proceeds to people in need or deserving causes in their community and seeking community partners to contribute materials and help build lemonade stands.
Heart House provides after-school support aimed at improving academic performance and mental health. About 85 percent of students at Heart House have been displaced due to crime and political instability in their country of origin, and all qualify for free or reduced lunch at school. About 98 percent are non-native English speakers.
When Mike Mayor Rawlings first proclaimed May 4 as Lemonade Day in 2014, twin sisters Raijanae and Raujanae Wilson, both 11-year-old Girl Scouts at the time, couldn’t wait to get started.
“I’ve been sending out flyers to the people in my neighborhood,” Raujanae said. “People will come who want lemonade, but also people who want to support us. We’re learning how to run our own business. I want to be a police officer when I grow up, and this gave me confidence. I learned that I can do anything that I want when I grow up.”