Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Junior Achievement BizTown

Last week I drove to the Discovery Gateway and made my way to the 4th floor--an area dedicated to Junio Acheivement's BizTown. The fifth graders from Colin's school had been preparing for this day: learning to make out checks, deposit slips, how much money they'd need to start their "business", etc. Colin had interviewed and been hired as the CEO of Simmons Media Group. He'd been telling me long before this field trip about how some difficulties in leading a group where some kids tend to goof off and leave the work to others. He was rather frustrated with some of the experiences he had. But, as he wasn't allowed to fire anyone, he told me that he and another girl ended up doing most of the work.

The big day arrived and when the kids walked into the hall of JA BizTown, it was like Christmas morning! They were so excited, looking around at this little town, and just anxious to be a part of it. The morning started off with a town hall meeting. Each CEO got to make a speech. Here is Colin (that's the mayor in the adorable are they?!):
Parents were assigned to work with students other than their own child. Here is my group at Best Buy:

They were cute and it was pretty hairy in there. Each person was assigned a task: CEO, CFO, stocker, etc.

All volunteers had a rundown before the kids got there of what our roles were. It was meant to be hands-off, but guiding them through everything. It was quite a load! At one point, the sweet girl in our group came back from a break where she was supposed to make a deposit, eat, and go shopping. Poor thing came back trying to hold back tears because she only got as far as the bank since her deposit slip was made out wrong. I felt horrible! But we got her situated and back on track with a smile.

Here is Colin's group in Simmons:

Even though I wasn't with Colin much of the time, it was fun to be able to hear him over the loudpeaker every so often, taking song dedications and playing music.

It was pretty warm in there, and he was feeling the pressure:

Colin, Peyton, and their volunteer:

At the end of the day, Colin was awarded something like "Citizen of the Year."

After this, I was completely exhausted! I'm just glad it's another 2 years until Micah's in 5th grade and I do this again. That said, this Junior Acheivement program is pretty incredible. All my kids come home from school periodically with things they've worked on through this program. JA's mission is: To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

As taken from Wikipedia:

Founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, Theodore Vail and Senator Winthrop M. Crane, Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than four million students per year in more than 120 markets across the United States, with an additional 6.5 million students served by operations in 117 other countries worldwide.

Colin and his friend, Alex Algrunn:

On to Ella. This girl is learning so much. Here she is reading from her French book. She loves the stories of Melanie and Gafi. Her pronunciation is great, and it's a lot of fun to listen to her.

Colin, Micah, and Ella had their parent/teacher conferences which went well. Their scores all wonderful, they're reading really well, and getting along with their peers. Couldn't be happier for them!


Maren and Blake said...

Oh my gosh Colin is such the business man. He honestly looks like one. I love the picture of him in front of the computer. He has the look of, "Mom, I'm am busy working here."

Marsha said...

Your children are super achievers.