Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, Adventures in Junior Achievement - Week 1 (Yes, the title of this post was inspired by the 1987 classic, Adventures in Babysitting; however, the film has nothing to do with this blog post, I just needed a catchy title, so please continue to keep reading.)
At Collins Community Credit Union, we take pride in our commitment to supporting the communities we serve. Not only do we provide financial support to area non-profits, but we also volunteer our time and talents.
One organization we’ve created a successful community partnership with over the past couple years is Junior Achievement. In 1919, Junior Achievement was founded as a collection of after-school business clubs for high school students in Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, Junior Achievement has offices all across the country, and locally in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Their mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.
This year, I decided to sign up to be a classroom volunteer for the Cedar Rapids Junior Achievement program. As a classroom volunteer, you receive a bag of materials and a booklet of lesson plans from the Junior Achievement office and go into the local schools to teach the JA lessons. It’s a five week program and the lessons are about an hour long.
I chose to work with 5th graders at one of the elementary schools in Cedar Rapids, and today was my first day in the classroom! I’ve worked with kids in the past, but I’ll have to admit, I was a little nervous.
Once I got into the classroom and started teaching the lesson those nerves went away. The kids were awesome! They were excited for me to be there and ready to participate in the activities I had prepared.
Today, our lesson was about free enterprise and entrepreneurship. My class split into seven groups and each group was assigned a business topic. Their job was to create a good or a service that would add value to their assigned industry. After they decided on their good or service, they then had to create an advertisement to promote their product.
It was so fun to see what these kids came up with! One group decided they wanted to improve the transportation industry by creating a ‘Train to Spain,’ a train that could travel at high speeds under water; while my engineering group decided they wanted to create a rocket powered rollercoaster.
Next week we’ll be talking about resources. The kids will learn about resources and how they apply to technology, workers and the needs of businesses and industries. Stay tuned to see how week two goes!
Click here to learn how you can get involved with Junior Achievement.