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Education Alliance honors winning middle school team for Lemonade Day

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On March 20, the Education Alliance's board of directors recognized the winning team of students from Keyser Middle School for their participation in Lemonade Day in February.

Lemonade Day is a learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own businesses through operating a lemonade stand.

Keyser Middle School's winning Lemonade Day team was composed of six students, with one student chosen as the outstanding salesperson based on outstanding salesmanship and manners.

The six students chose to donate their profit to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Students said they picked the Komen foundation because they know someone who has been affected by breast cancer and thought it would be nice to raise money for a good cause.

The statewide initiative was piloted by Vision Shared in West Virginia last year, with Keyser Middle School being one of the schools in the pilot.

According to Lemonade Day State Director Matthew Thompson, of Vision Shared, the goal was to have an increased number of participants from last year.

"We brought (Lemonade Day) to West Virginia last year," he said. "We had 2,000 participants. This year's goal is 3,000 participants."

Along with the Lemonade Day program also comes a six week curriculum, where children learn how to raise and budget money and complete a business plan for their lemonade stand.

Schools and students are encouraged to sign up for Lemonade Day 2014 on May 3. Each child that registers to participate will receive a backpack with an entrepreneur workbook that teaches lessons of entrepreneurship, such as creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to the community.

"It's an interactive, hands-on curriculum that teaches financial leadership and entrepreneurship and is a national program," Thompson said.

Thompson said the Lemonade Day program can be incorporated as an extra-curricular activity or as a school program, and that parents can do it individually with their children.

At the Education of Alliance board meeting, the students from Keyser shared with board members how they came up with the winning lemonade recipe, what strategies they used to work as a team and how they advertised their team's lemonade stand.

Putting up posters and making sure advertisement was visible was how the students raised over $500. Freshly squeezed lemons was the key ingredient in their secret recipe.

Each student received a special plaque during the board meeting honoring them for their participation.

"Small business is so crucial to West Virginia's economy," Amelia Courts, president of the Education Alliance, said. "Lemonade Day is an excellent way to help your students develop their entrepreneurial skills at a young age and keep that positive trend going for the future."

To sign up or learn more about Lemonade Day go to westvirginia.lemonadeday.org.