Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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December 10, 2012

Making lemons into lemonade helps kids learn

ELKHART — Lemonade Day 2012 was held May 5 at Concord Mall as one of several locations for approximately 500 youngsters taking part in the first-time event for Elkhart County.

“The kids were scattered throughout the area from setting a stand in front of their house to a store front (like Concord Mall) which is awesome for our first year,” Lemonade Day Executive Board Director Meggan Patty, said.

The goal for the upcoming year is expansion to 1,500 stands around Elkhart County, including the Goshen school system.

“There was about $30,000 raised and that doesn’t include every child who had a stand,” Patty said, “and if they put some of their money back into the community, that’s pretty cool.”

She said it was hard for the board of directors to keep track of where all the stands were set up in May.

The national initiative started 5 to 10 years ago in Houston, Texas. Amish Shah, an Elkhart resident and president of Kem Krest Corp. in Elkhart, brought Lemonade Day to Elkhart in 2012 after hearing about it in another city.   

Patty said she heard an interesting statistic that Indiana has more areas participating than in Texas where it started,” she said.

“It started small and it’s growing. It’s basically kids running their own business,” she said. “They decide what their stand looks like, their own business plan and their own recipe, whether they use powdered or real lemons or a combination.”

There are three aspects of the initiative that are geared for children, who are in first- through eighth-grades, and participating in the event — share, spend and save.

“The idea is for them to share part of their profits with a charity or something to give their money to, spend some of their money on something they wanted and to save some of it, like in a bank account,” Patty said.

“We’re trying to get more involved and it encompasses everything they learn in school.”

For instance, the money aspect connects to math, while creating their stands connects to art and geography connects to where they put their stands. Family and consumer sciences can be connected to making their own recipes, she added.

“It’s for children to put something together and make it great,” Patty said, smiling. “This is the perfect opportunity for our community to show kids they care about their success and train the next generation of entrepreneurs in a fun, engaging, and empowering activity.”

The date for Lemonade Day 2013 hasn’t been set yet, she added, and sponsors are needed for the event. For more information or to get involved, contact Patty at mpatty@kemkrest.com or by calling (574) 389-2657.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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