Lemonade Day Honors Educator

Ira Cross counselor awarded
By: Todd Martin
Fort Hood Area Lemonade Day organizers honored a Killeen ISD counselor as its teacher of the year, capping a 10-year anniversary for the youth entrepreneurship program.
Lemonade Day Project Coordinator Samantha Ricciardi presented Ira Cross Elementary School counselor Crystal Castillo the teacher of the year award during the school’s final staff meeting the day after the last day of school for students.
The advisor to the school’s National Elementary Honor Society has guided the chapter’s Lemonade Day preparation and sales for four years.
Part of the learning process, Castillo said, motivated the students and their leaders to move from their original stand site at Long Branch Park to a retailer parking lot closer to the school to its most recent spot at Lions Club Park.
Ricciardi, along with KISD Education Foundation Director Joyce Hodson awarded Castillo and told Ira Cross educators the Lemonade Day efforts are growing across Central Texas.
The program provides curriculum for young participants with their family members or other adult guidance to operate a lemonade stand during the first weekend of May. The model suggests paying back an investor and giving a portion of the profit to charity.

The Ira Cross Elementary School National Elementary Honor Society has made the activity a tradition and a fundraiser. The group has benefited animal shelters and made gift bags for school staff. They also pay chapter dues throw themselves an end-of-school pizza party with their earnings.
“The students enjoy it,” Castillo said. “They market it. They take flyers home to parents. We see a lot of our families come out. They learn the business side, about making a profit.”
“She is well-deserved,” Ricciardi said of Castillo. “She has four years of participation and has grown with the program. You can see the power of fostering financial literacy in youth.”
In 10 years, lemonade stands across Killeen and surrounding areas have drawn more than 24,000 participants and earned gross revenue over $88,600, the event coordinator reported.
This past year, which stretched over a full weekend in May was the largest ever with 2,936 registered participants operating 208 stands. The average stand made $218, saved $114 and shared $141.