“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” – Plutarch
Perhaps no subject strikes closer to the bone of the democratic idea of society than the education of our children.
The big thinkers of American innovation worry about foreign competition in the global markets, and say that unless the kids settle down to their lessons, the United States could lose it all.
While school’s have their mission and marching orders, now, more than ever, it is important for the community at large to offer additional ways of learning and methods of thinking – offer more kindling for the fire.
In McMinnville’s Lemonade Day, started in 2015 and gearing up for the second year, I see the great potential to engage and invigorate, light a fire, in our own future great thinkers and leaders. Lemonade Day is a nation-wide event that teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in life. Kids learn to set goals, develop a business plan, establish a budget, seek investors, provide customer service, save for the future, and give back to the community. Lemonade Day is the perfect opportunity for a community to show kids they care and train the next generation of entrepreneurs through a free, fun, engaging, and empowering activity.
A look back at the results from the 2015 class of young entrepreneurs reads like a successful report card: 197 youth participated, selling over 9,000 cups of lemonade, with revenues per stand averaging at $137 – of which $78.23 was an average profit, leading to 100% of the ventures paying back their investor, on top of which $35.10 was the average donation to charity following their profit. On top of which, 82% wish to participate in the future. Further encouraging: there were more girls than boys participating, and the Hispanic portion of participants almost hit 20%, a number expected to grow with increased efforts and engagement.
Encouraging and invigorating reports from a first year program.
“When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion.”
Emerson’s words turning the hard work and dedicated practice of modern entrepreneurial-ism into a well-rounded and enlightened education.
It is important for this kind of program, and more like it, while simple in idea, to exist and thrive, to find support and momentum in our community, to grow and to spread. Programs like this are what awaken our students, our local children, our future leaders, to the light in his or her own mind.
Registration can be found for 2016 Lemonade Day at: http://Mcminnville.lemonadeday.org