In the Brainerd lakes area, Junior Achievement (JA) programs have grown substantially throughout the community.
This school year more than 4,800 local students will participate in JA programs. Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy. Junior Achievement teaches students in grades K-12 about business, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work force readiness skills.
Volunteers are key to JA. Today’s kids need role models from the community.
JA volunteers make five visits to the classroom. Each detailed lesson plan includes fun, hands-on activities to engage the students.
The third-grade curriculum is Our City and it studies careers, the skills people need to work in those careers, and how businesses contribute to a city. Our City is a series of five activities recommended for students with the average time for each activity roughly 45 minutes.
• Activity One: Inside Cities
Students recognize that a city is a place where people live, work, play and go to school. They become aware of the importance of city planning to the economic development of a city.
• Activity Two: Building a City
Students examine the role of a builder and become aware of how that job is interconnected with the job of the city planner.
• Activity Three: Dining Out
Students work in groups to make decisions about operating a restaurant while exploring the role of restaurant owner. They define the terms consumer, producer, and entrepreneur. Though discussion they are able to identify the difference between consumer and producer.
• Activity Four: Making Headlines
Students examine the purpose of a newspaper as a communication tool for people in a city, as well as the role of the reporter. They generate and organize article outlines for a class newspaper.
• Activity Five: You Can Bank on It
Students become aware of why banks are important to a city as they role-play simple bank transactions.
For the 2012-13 school year, Eagle View Elementary School has enrolled 20 classes in the JA program, or 451 students. That includes four third-grade classrooms.
For the 2011-12 school year, Eagle View had 16 classes enrolled, or roughly 382 students.