Junior Achievement programs reach parochial, public, home and public schools. JA grows progress in a strategic way to impact students from elementary through high school. BizTown is another exciting, experiential JA programming component.
An optimal strategy for going to JA BizTown®, one of thirty sites in the U.S., is that kindergarten through fourth graders have taken the Junior Achievement curricula and this trip is the eagerly anticipated "tradition" as a fifth grader. Fifth graders could, however, go without previous JA classes since preparatory curriculum precedes the visit.
How is the BizTown field trip/experience financed? Businesses, foundations, individuals and some schools alone or in partnerships pay for the lessons and the travel.
From the programs page of the JA website:
JA BizTown engages students in the role of workers and consumers in a series of classroom lessons that culminates in a day-long visit to JA BizTown, a fully-interactive simulated town.
Through daily lessons, hands-on activities, and active participation in the simulated community, students develop a strong understanding of the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a worldwide economy.
Through five units composed of 21 lessons, students learn about communities, the economy, free enterprise, taxes, and philanthropy. They delve into personal finances: how to write a check, make a deposit, and open a savings account. They explore work skills, teamwork, and job applications. Finally, in preparation for their visti to JA BizTown, students explore business management, including costs, pricing, advertising, and ethics.
Elementary school students work
for Arby's, Bank of Oklahoma, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Cherokee Nation, Cox Communications, HollyFrontier, Linde, ONEOK, Reasor's, Ricoh, Schusterman Center, and Tulsa Tech in JA BizTown.
Belynda Clanton, Junior Achievement’s vice president of program in Tulsa, shared some BizTown activities. Prior to the visit, curriculum prepares students. Once at the site, students are assigned a job and given a title with responsibility and then proceed to activities. For example, one small group of students, using math in a practical way, might lay a pipeline from ONEOK to Walmart. Another group of utility and environmental agents might read meters to calculate usage and billing. Junior scientists in lab coats might read directions, make something closely akin to “flubber” and then package, market and sell it. Groups make loans from the bank and have four hours to devise a way to pay back the loans. The students are busy!
Note: We are anxious to visit BizTown before school ends to update this post.
http://oklahoma.ja.org/ Ret. 3-20-14
Belynda Clanton (personal communication, March 12, 2014)
Jo Wise (personal communication, March 3-19-14)