Lemonade to Leadership: Nurturing Entrepreneurs is a
two-book set consisting of the Teacher's Manual and the Student
Book. According to the Institute for Excellence in Writing, it
is a 12 to 25-hour curriculum geared for children in grades 3-6
or up to 8 th grade to foster entrepreneurial skills and real-world
business practices. In the introduction, Lemonade to Leadership promises
to "train your students to: recognize money-making opportunities,
estimate start-up costs and operating expenses, write a business
plan, set up a record-keeping system, design marketing materials
and ads, deliver a sales presentation, become a job maker instead
of a job-taker, start and operate a youth-owned business, and take
charge of the future." The 12-hour curriculum would be a quick
introduction to business, and the 25-hour curriculum would use
all the suggested activities in the book.
This program can be used within a family or in a co-op setting.
The student materials are reproducible within a family, but in
a co-op situation, each child would need to purchase a separate
student text. The book is broken down into eight lessons. Each
lesson has a list of objectives, prerequisites, a list of materials
needed, and a list of business terms, followed by the lesson. Each
lesson is further broken into several sections. Each section includes
discussion as well as activities for the students to complete.
The lessons are not scripted, but they are guided.
This program seems to work best with a small group of students
and a teacher-mentor. Many of the instructions include reference
to students and small groups. Some of the brainstorming discussions
might be better accomplished with a few enthusiastic youth. For
example, in a lesson on writing a business plan, the teacher likens
a business plan to a set of instructions and then asks the students
to break into teams to see who can come up with a larger list of
instructions encountered throughout the day.
I feel that this program, while it could be used with children
as young as third grade with a little modification and a slower
pace, is best suited for 5 th -8 th grade students. This is not
a watered down business education program. It is in-depth and covers
all aspects of running a true business, including legal business
structures, tax laws, and researching laws on business licenses,
keeping records, proper receipts for goods bought and sold, etc.
This course also requires the attention of the students to come
up with ideas and stick to them through building a business and
discussing successes and failures experienced throughout the "past
week." Ideally, the students are fairly confident writers as several
activities encourage the students to "write several paragraphs" about
a given topic.
I think Lemonade to Leadership is a very well thought
out program with many positives. I like that it does not talk down
to the students and seeks to raise them to professional levels.
I also like that it goes step-by-step through setting up a business.
In a small group or co-op situation, it would be a fabulous enrichment
class. I don't know that I would use it for an individual child
because of how much more a student would be able to absorb with
the group discussions, brainstorming, and sharing, but I would
definitely recommend this program as an entrepreneurial course
for older elementary to middle school children.