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Montessori School students learn business skills on 'Lemonade Day'

Lawrence Pierce
Anne Frances-Melton, 10, a 4th-grader at Mountaineer Montessori School, places a piece of lemon on the rim of a cup of lemonade Saturday at the Capitol Market. Students from the school set up shop at the Capitol Market to take part in "Lemonade Day," a national program that teaches children how to start, own and operate their own business.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After a classmate sold a cup of lemonade Saturday, Aboud Ashab handed the customer their school's business card.

"Now give her her change back," Ashab, 10, instructed his classmate.

Students from Mountaineer Montessori School set up shop at the Capitol Market to take part in "Lemonade Day," a national program that teaches children how to run their own business.

Isabel Menon, 10, was taking her turn wearing a lemon costume.

"We've learned how to manage money," she said.

Hayden Carriger walked away from the stand, with a cup of lemonade, and hawked his wares to the crowd shopping at the market.

"Lemonade, coffee, candles," he yelled.

"This has helped me learn how to start up a business and learn how to maintain it," said Carriger, 9.

This is the first year West Virginia students have participated in "Lemonade Day," and, according to the event's website, 17 schools around the state took part. About 1 million children in 100 cities nationwide were expected to be involved.

"A whole curriculum was provided," said JoEllen Zacks, a parent and vice president of the Montessori school's board of directors. "It applies real world lessons."

The students came up with their own slogan, "Mountaineer Montessori puts the M in Lemonade" and have really worked together, said parent Gloria Lopez.

"They actually took over," Lopez added.

"He's already asking if we can sell the balloons," Zacks said while laughing and pointing to a student. "It's really showing their work ethic, they've been here since early in the morning and planned all week."

Skyler Brown, 10, said selling lemonade has taught him about hard work.

"It's hard, but you can make a lot of money," Brown said.

Cole Saber sat behind the stand counting a wad of cash.

"I've learned a lot about money, like how to give change back," Saber, 10, said. "My dad has a company and I'll probably work with him one day."

Proceeds from the event will support the school's specialty programs and its "Education for Innovation" scholarship fund, Zacks said.

For more information about "Lemonade Day," visit www.lemonadeday.org. Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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