As temperatures rise and the tourists start to return to the island, they will be greeted by dozens of young entrepreneurs.

May 4 is the third annual Lemonade Day Galveston, in which children of all ages will set up lemonade stands across the island and Bolivar Peninsula. Organized by the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the event has grown from around 200 participants in 2012 to nearly 500 in 2013.

Lemonade Day started in Houston in 2007 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Holthouse. His vision was to empower today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs through helping them start, own and operate their very own business — a lemonade stand. 

Lemonade Day follows a strategic process that helps children write their own business plan with the same principles required to start any new company. 

The program inspires children to work hard, make a profit, spend some of that money on a goal they set for themselves and share some of it by giving it to the local charity of their choice. The program now boasts more than 200,000 participants in cities across America.

This year, Galveston schools will offer classes to students to teach the lessons they need to become successful business owners. Galveston Independent School District elementary and middle schools will be offering a six-week after-school course starting the last week of March that will cover curriculum on how to run a lemonade stand. Members of high school leadership organizations and local business leaders will serve as mentors.

To sign up participants, schools will host their very own Lemonade Day kickoff event, where students and parents can learn about the program and register for the after-school lessons that will include transportation home. 

Austin Middle School and Scott Collegiate Academy hosted their Lemonade Day kickoff last week. L.A. Morgan Elementary and Central Middle School will host theirs at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively, March 18.

Early Childhood University will host its Lemonade Day kickoff celebration March 20. Parker Elementary will follow up with its own kickoff at 5:30 p.m. March 25.

Once signed up, students will receive a backpack with information on how to set up a lemonade stand with step-by-step instructions. The after-school program participants will meet once a week with school sponsors and high school mentors to learn lessons specifically designed for Lemonade Day. Students will learn how to budget, build a business plan and how to keep track of earnings and profits.

Students will receive tips on where to place their lemonade stand, how to build it and how to make a recipe for unique lemonade. After students write their very own business plan, they will be eligible for a loan from the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, who will meet with them ahead of the big day so they can afford to buy supplies. Students will need to pay the loan back or agree to volunteer hours at their school to make up for any amount owed.

Johnston Farrow is the communications specialist for Galveston ISD.

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