DAVIDSON – Davidson Elementary School fourth- graders participated in JA BizTown, a Junior Achievement program, last month.
Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.
When they arrived at the Charlotte Junior Achievement building, the students found a small city – JA BizTown – and got right to work.
At JA BizTown, students are encouraged to use critical- thinking skills to learn about key economic concepts and get to know what free enterprise is all about.
“The kids get the idea that money doesn’t grow on trees,” fourth-grade teacher Raven Ellis said. “They have to sell and advertise a product or service that the other kids will want. And they have to sell it at the right price. If it’s too expensive, the kids won’t buy it.”
The students earn paychecks to pay rent, bills and taxes. If they have money in their account, they can buy something by writing a check. If they run out of money or forget to pay the electric bill, the lights actually go out in BizTown.
“Every kid is busy doing his or her job and businesses are running like a real city.” There is a medical facility, a travel agency, a bank, a food court, distribution centers for supplies and for mailing, manufacturing facilities and storefronts. There is even a radio station where the kids can create and broadcast radio ads.
“It’s amazing to see what a confidence boost it can be for kids who may not excel in academics but fly at JA BizTown using strong organizational or people skills.”