By Todd Martin
A community event that challenges children to form a business plan to sell their own original lemonade sounded like an educational opportunity to the leadership of the Killeen ISD Career Center.
In a one-stop shop at the career-focused KISD high school Saturday, young, aspiring entrepreneurs learned from older students tips on construction, marketing and of course, making delicious lemonade.
Two participants won lemonade stands that Career Center students built in their construction and agriculture mechanics classes.
Career and Technical Education Program Advisor Warren Kostencki and CTE Instructional Specialist Ron Sursa cooked up the idea and worked with Lemonade Day Project Coordinator Samantha Ricciardi to pull it off. They are already talking about next year's event that will support the area's 10th annual Lemonade Day.
"It's been really good," Ricciardi said. "We are excited that the KISD Career Center has partnered with us. They really believe in the program and what we're teaching."
The Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day, scheduled May 5 and 6 will attract about 3,000 participants. Those groups, including families and school organizations, will operate their own lemonade stands from Copperas Cove to Belton including all of the Killeen area and Fort Hood.
They will keep a portion of their profits and give to charities of their own choosing a portion of the proceeds.
At one end of the Career Center, construction student A.J. Valdillez, a senior, worked with participants on measuring and framing to build stands.
"It's similar to what we learn in building houses," he said between two scheduled activities. The student showed how 2-by-4 cuts of lumber support the stands. "You have to make it square and straight so it's structurally sound."
In other parts of the building, children and family members worked with students on digital graphic arts to make advertising flyers and with marketing students on drawing up a business plan.
In the middle of the commons area of the campus, Central Texas College culinary arts students Michelle Doyle and Anthony Cameron demonstrated the tools and ingredients needed to make various kinds of lemonade.
"We want to give them ideas," Doyle said. An experiment allowed participants to find out how sugar and honey dissolve differently in cold or hot water. They also tried out different lemon squeezing methods.
"We're letting the parents know what they need to charge to cover the costs of their product," Doyle said.
"The kids are saying that they are getting their ideas together," Ricciardi said. "They are learning about pricing and location and they are learning different ways to make lemonade."
Students also got a chance to sit with Career Center DJs in the school district's MY 95.1 radio station and record their own voice. The segments will air on the KISD station leading up to the event.
Emmanuel Hernandez watched his 8-year-old daughter record alongside Career Center senior Monique Bullock, known as DJ Mo.
"This is the second time she's had a stand," the proud father said of his daughter Gianelie. "She loved having her own business idea and she loved donating half the proceeds to a children's hospital."
April 14, 2018