There may not be any troops at Garrison Elementary near Logan Circle, but this week there was a war.
The annual Garrison Elementary School Lemonade War pits fourth and fifth graders in the extended day before- and after-school program against each other to see who can sell the most lemonade.
The contest was inspired by the book “The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies, which teaches business and economic concepts through a narrative about two siblings trying to out-sell each other in the competitive lemonade stand market.
The students in each grade were given $20 to buy supplies for their lemonade stands and were tasked with setting prices and selling the lemonade before and after school in front of Garrison Elementary at 1200 S St. NW.
The students also had to decide how much of their proceeds to re-invest in more lemonade and how much to keep. Whichever grade has the most money at the end of the week will be the winner, and both classes will get to decide how to spend the money they raised, according to Garrison principal Collin Hill.
Each grade took different strategies for their stands: The fourth graders went for variety, with small medium and large sized lemonade available, while the fifth graders adopted somewhat of a franchising strategy, stationing lemonade sellers in front of the school and at the playground behind the school.
A fourth grader who was pouring lemonade from a pitcher bigger than his head said on Wednesday that the class decided on the prices of the lemonade by taking a vote. Meanwhile, a fifth grader just feet away used a megaphone to assure passers-by that his grade’s lemonade was better.
Teachers were on hand to monitor the students but did not intervene with any business operations, leaving them to calculate change and serve customers themselves.
Who won and how much each grade has raised will be known on Friday, as the students had yet to count the cash filling their boxes. But it’s safe to assume the real victors of this crash course in capitalism were the paying customers.