For the last few years, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation has been introducing schools to the Junior Achievement Program. Last year, Clay Central-Everly's elementary, Newell Fonda's kindergarten, and Spencer's Johnson Elementary's second and fourth grades implemented the programming.
JA is an organization dedicated to teaching students about entrepreneurship through hands-on programs. What began in 1919 as an after school program for high school students has grown to include middle and elementary school students, as well as programs that are incorporated into school curriculum. JA now reaches 9.7 million students worldwide each year; over 50 million have been involved in JA since its inception.
The Corridor sponsors JA to keep with the objective of developing the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. The Corridor is happy to announce that Clay Central-Everly and Newell Fonda are both continuing the JA program this year, and all of Spencer's second grade classes will receive JA programming. A new partnership with the Spencer YMCA will incorporate the JA curriculum into its after school program.
"The Corridor is sponsoring Junior Achievement programming in the region to help us achieve two primary objectives: to develop the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and leaders by encouraging youth to pursue the creation of new ventures and apply entrepreneurship concepts in their career endeavors, and to help existing employers in the region in the recruitment and retention of workforce,"Kathy Evert, president and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor, said. "JA is a nationally recognized and supported program. We're especially grateful for the elementary teachers and the volunteers who are helping with this program in the area."
The Junior Achievement programs teach concepts such as consumer, cost, employment, incentives, income, specialization and profit. They also teach skills such as coin recognition, decision-making, problem solving, teamwork, brainstorming, applying information and conducting research.
The Corridor is open to partnering with more schools and additional before or after school programs in the region. If any facilities are interested in incorporating Junior Achievement programming, contact Holly at the Corridor office, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 264-3474.
Volunteers are a major part of JA's success. Each lesson is lead by a volunteer from the business community who shares their experiences in business with the students. Volunteers went through a training led by Brenda Dryer of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa in October. Having volunteers from the business community not only helps the students learn about entrepreneurship, but also builds relationships between the school and local companies.
Volunteers this year are Julie Weaver with Farmers Trust and Savings Bank, Clark Cunningham with Community State Bank, Jim Davis with Eaton Corporation, Brian Weuve with the City of Spencer, Zach Nelson with Eaton Corporation, John Rahn with Spencer Community Theatre, Dave Rayner with Home State Bank, Harvey Baxter with Eaton Corporation, Matt Schoning with Eaton Corporation, Nate Newhouse with Community State Bank, Tracey Koenig with Northwest Bank, Brian Dalziel with Iowa Lakes Corridor and Joann Anderson with State Bank Spencer.
With more schools and programs incorporating JA, more volunteers are always needed. If anyone is interested in being a Junior Achievement volunteer, contact Holly at the Corridor office at 264-3474 or at email@example.com.