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Putting the “junior” in achievement

January 30, 2012

In articles in the past two weeks, I covered the Titan Business Challenge that Junior Achievement uses in its quest to improve financial literacy in BC. It has several other programs that can be used in schools, the only criteria being that a school is interested in participating and that a volunteer is available to lead the program.

For Grades 5 -7, a “Business Basics” program is offered which starts them on the road to understanding how businesses work and the importance they play in our society. From there, Grade 6-8 students can create a “Business of Our Own“, typically resulting in a retail stand in the school which sells a product they have developed or obtained. “Dollars with Sense” makes financial literacy relevant  for grades 7-9 with lots of practical applications.

Economics for Success” for grades 9 and 10 teaches students about careers, the importance of education and financial literacy, budgeting skills and interview techniques while, in “Investment Strategies“, students learn about the stock market, using virtual money to invest in real-time, online. In theCompany Program” Grade 11 and 12 students learn how to run a business by preparing a mission statement and goals, identifying target markets and product ideas, creating a business plan and proceeding with set-up, marketing, management budgeting, finances and financial statements. In addition, each year, more than $500,000 in awards and scholarships are presented to Junior Achievers across Canada.

The JA programs use relevant materials and hands-on methods, trained advisors and current technology to create interest and motivate the students to learn. JA reports that “80% of high school students surveyed felt better prepared to enter the world of work after taking a JA program”. With funding coming primarily from the business community and government, JA helps train our youth to be knowledgeable and successful in our modern world.

And for business-minded people, JA offers a great opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with young people by participating as a volunteer in the classroom. Training is provided, the reward is found in the joy of giving back.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2012 5:50 pm

    The question I find myself asking is -why isn’t it a part of the curriculum?
    There is obviously a need. One only needs to look at the increasing complexities of our world and the terrible financial difficulties of many of us to realize that this should be a core part of our schools’ programs. Thanks for the comment.

  2. January 30, 2012 4:00 pm

    Imagine if a program like this were a core part of the curriculum. Thanks for providing in-depth information on this for us.

  3. January 30, 2012 11:48 am

    Thanks for the comment and I agree. JA uses highly relevant materials such as the internet and gameplay to engage the students so that they are interested and motivated.

  4. January 30, 2012 10:45 am

    Looks like a very useful and detailed program.

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