There are some subjects we don’t teach our children at a young age for fear that they may not be able to properly process the information. We don’t give driving lessons to 4-year-olds, after all.
The world of work and finances should not be on the list of things to which we delay such exposure, though. Researchers at Cambridge University say we should begin exposing our children to information about money as early as age 3.
There is no downside to providing age-appropriate information on this subject and while there are any number of publications on the world of work and money geared toward children, the best teacher is experience.
Here in the Golden Triangle, we again have an opportunity to provide our kids with such an experience. On June 19, Lemonade Day offers kids a chance to learn how to start, own and operate a business.
Lemonade stands have been a part of American culture for decades, most of them spontaneous, haphazard efforts by children concocted mainly to break the monotony of the long summer break.
But this program goes a bit deeper, helping children understand the concepts of business that apply as much to the lemonade stand as to commercial businesses of all types and sizes.
The program allows children to learn the concepts behind business at a level they can understand. For older kids, the more complex aspects of business — cost control, pricing, marketing, even financing (yes, kids can actually apply for a business loan to finance their stand) — are taught through the program.
It also draws the line between work and compensation. Lemons grow on trees, but money doesn’t, after all.
Oh, and not unimportantly, it’s a lot of fun, too.
While Lemonade Day is a national program, the local effort was established by the Mississippi State University Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach in 2018. Director Jeffrey Rupp said due to COVID-19, the event was canceled last year, but kids can once again participate in Lemonade Day this year. The event, sponsored by Golden Triangle developer Mark Castleberry, Cadence Bank and the MSU E-Center, first came to Starkville in 2018 but expanded to Columbus and West Point the following year. Lemonade Day 2019 saw nearly 300 children participating and Rupp said this year he hopes even more kids take advantage of the opportunity.
Participants can sign up online through the program’s website, lemonadeday.org/golden-triangle, and choose where and when to sell their product.
We urge parents and kids to join the fun.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.