Saunders College at RIT pilots first Lemonade Day program in Rochester

Sixth grade class at Henry Hudson School No. 28 will be open for business on June 7




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“We can transform the lives of Rochester city kids.”

—Saunders College Dean dt ogilvie

Saunders College of Business Dean dt ogilvie believes bringing Lemonade Day to Rochester is a step forward in training the next generation of entrepreneurs—by teaching children how to start, own and operate their own business through the simple and time-honored act of running a lemonade stand.

Saunders College, in conjunction with Rochester Institute of Technology’s new Center For Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) and Rochester City School District, is piloting Lemonade Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7 at Henry Hudson School No. 28, 450 Humboldt St.

“Lemonade Day empowers children’s sense of self-worth and confidence,” says ogilvie. “For kids of low socio-economic backgrounds, this is a tremendous self-affirming experience to have an identity and be able to say, ‘I’m an entrepreneur!’”

Melissa Anzalone-Haywood has taught the sixth grade Major Achievement Program at School 28 for seven years and has been with the district since 1993. She says her class of 18 students, 12 girls and 6 boys, is excited to participate in the program and they have been familiarizing themselves with the national event online.

“The students are looking forward to learning about how to become entrepreneurs,” she says. “The more informed they are, and the community is, and the more publicity this event can get, I’m sure it will definitely encourage entrepreneurship. The children will be the best advocates for this project, to gather momentum and excitement for future projects.”

Delmonize Smith, associate professor of management at RIT and director of CUE, is facilitating Lemonade Day’s debut in Rochester. He says the idea was to keep it simple and located on school grounds.

“Lemonade Day teaches young students some very basic principles of business, such as marketing—designing a stand to attract customers; finance—how much does it cost to make lemonade and what do they want to sell it for to make a profit. It takes leadership, teamwork and customer service to position themselves and their product to beat out the competition, and along the way, they learn social responsibility and charity. We want to teach these principles of entrepreneurship as early as we possibly can; we are planting the seed to grow a business as these kids grow.”

Lemonade Day began in Houston in 2007. Since then it has grown from 2,700 kids in one city to 150,000 kids in 36 cities across America and Canada. With the help of partners like Google, Lemonade Day will bring this entrepreneurial experience to 1 million kids in 100 cities across America.

Note: One of nine colleges at RIT, Saunders College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) and enrolls more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Saunders College and its entrepreneurial Venture Creations Incubator work in partnership with RIT’s Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship to integrate business education with RIT’s world leading technical and creative programs. Graduate programs include Master of Business Administration, MBA-Accounting, Executive MBA and master’s degrees in finance and administration.

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