Children’s Pick: ‘It Started with a Turtle’ Celebrates Lemonade Day

The children’s book, It All Started with a Turtleis a fun read for the kids. It was written by Lisa Holthouse to illustrate a bigger story: the power of children’s lemonade stands. (Click to the bottom of the story for a delicious Homemade Mint Lemonade recipe.)

Lemonade Day, a community-wide event that teaches kids how to start, own and operate their own businesses, was founded by Lisa and Michael Holthouse in 2007. The program has grown from 2,600 stands the first year in Houston to an expected 250,000 youth in 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It is unique. It’s all about empowering and educating our youth through experiential learning. It offers a free, engaging way to create and run a business – a lemonade stand.

Once children sign up to participate, they receive a backpack that includes an Entrepreneur’s Workbook which walks them through a 14-step process, along with a “Caring Adult Guide” which offers tips for their mentors to utilize throughout the curriculum. The lessons not only teach youth how to be entrepreneurs, but they also teach valuable life lessons such as financial literacy and how to take ownership of their own lives.

Once completed, every registered child sets up their lemonade stand on Lemonade Day, the 1st Sunday in May in most participating cities. At the end of the day, participants are asked to do three things with their profits – spend some on something for themselves, save some in a youth savings account and share some with a local charity of their choice. The Lemonade Day program also offers youth so many additional advantages including higher self-esteem and empowerment through the sense of accomplishment and perhaps most importantly, to dream big and work hard to make those dreams come true.

By partnering with youth-based organizations such as youth organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses, business leaders, after-school programs and the community at large, Lemonade Day hopes to reach 1 million youth in 100 cities and beyond.

To continue raising awareness about Lemonade Day and to help reach that goal, Lisa has published a new children’s book which reveals the true story of how Lemonade Day began. Through colorful illustrations, it shares how their daughter’s desire for a pet turtle, a lemonade stand and a daddy/daughter day full of “lemonade lessons” eventually launched a nationwide movement. Originally written as a gift for her husband Michael, It All Started with a Turtle is a primer to teach younger children the fundamental lessons of Lemonade Day, which is how to set and achieve goals in a fun and understandable format.

Lisa’s Homemade Mint Lemonade
5 Large Lemons (yields 2 1/2 cups of juice)
5 Cups of Water
1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
2/3 cup of White Granulated Sugar
Chopped fresh mint for flavor and to garnish

Instructions: Juice lemons. Add lemon juice to water. Stir in the sugars. Refrigerate. Just before serving, add mint to taste.

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