Partner Spotlight: Lemonade Day

Partner Spotlight: Lemonade Day
Posted on 07/13/2023
What was your first business endeavor as a child? For many of us, especially those who were born last century, it was setting up shop on the sidewalk outside your home to sell lemonade on a warm summer day.

In early June, students from Custer, Idlewild and Tillicum elementary schools put their entrepreneurial ambitions into action and operated lemonade stands at two schools and outside nine businesses on Lemonade Day sponsored by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

The work for Lemonade Day started in the classroom weeks before the big day. Teachers stepped students through carefully planned learning modules on business ownership, costs and profit margins, product development, branding, marketing and more.

Custer Elementary School began its lemonade stand three years ago when former teacher Fawn Perez used the national Lemonade Day framework to develop the program for her fourth graders. This year, teacher Theresa Prather continued the program with eager fourth and fifth graders. Working with the support of the school’s student nutrition staff, they developed a proprietary blend of fresh squeezed lemonade with additional flavors using blended berries. Students determined the cost of the product and how much they should sell it for to break even and make a small profit.

Because they operated one stand at the school in a drive-through model, students selected job assignments from taking orders to making change to pouring lemonade to marketing. Each job was important and impacted their ability to keep the line of cars moving and their overall success.

At Idlewild Elementary School, fourth-grade students assembled teams to create a lemonade stand to operate at school and/or out in the community. This year, nine teams sold their wares at business locations sprinkled throughout the city.

They put on their thinking caps and embraced an important element of the entrepreneurial process: marketing. They finalized the stand name, developed their brand and let their creativity shine through their decorating of signage and marketing materials. Some even created commercials that were aired at school.

Kermit’s Magical Lemonade Stand took it to the next level and leveraged a talking Kermit the Frog to entice customers. The Lemon Cats reminded customers that their lemonade was “purr-fect.”

The Coolade Lemonade stand operators put emphasis on their flavors and determined that their special fizz flavored lemonade was their best. As a result, they focused on marketing it to potential customers at their stand outside of AA Meats.

The Tillicum Lemonade Crew, comprised of fourth and fifth graders, worked together at their walk-up stand in front of Tillicum Elementary School. Students served in multiple roles with several students holding signs at the corners inviting patrons to stop by. “Have a squeezy day,” a student sang as she handed a glass of lemonade to a community member.

When asked what their favorite part of Lemonade Day was, students overwhelmingly agreed that selling lemonade was the best, and it got a little competitive out in the field this year to see who sold more. The schools will work with students to determine how to use proceeds. Lemonade Day is a partnership with the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and CPSD, with the support of Lemonade Day investors and CPSD donors Sodexo and TwinStar Credit Union. The Chamber graciously provided workbooks for students and an online app. Sodexo, which operates the district’s student nutrition services, donated powdered lemonade and TwinStar Credit Union provided cups.

Thanks to Custer, Idlewild and Tillicum staff who integrated this community-based opportunity into the classroom and made it a reality for nearly 200 CPSD students.