Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. These programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
On Thursday, January 31st, the Junior Achievement Hartford group brought their program to St. Gabriel School in Windsor. Instructors were volunteers from Valassis, a Windsor media delivery company, and St. Gabriel parent volunteers, Jennifer Anderson, Jenna Wassell and Michelle Steele. Students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 were introduced to the business world through age appropriate topics and activities. Kindergartners learned about their role as a consumer, including lessons on coin recognition, working to earn money and saving money. Grade 1 learned about the family role in economics and explored wants and needs of individuals. Grade 2 explored ‘Our Community’, learning about the roles of workers in a community. Grade 3 studied business in a city, understanding economic development, local businesses, and career opportunities. Grade 4 looked at a Region, examining regional resources, supply chains, and how to solve problems by weighing risks and rewards. “Our Nation” is Junior Achievement’s Grade 5 program that provides practical information about businesses’ need for individuals who can meet the demands of the job market. Students learned that businesses need workers with skills that are in demand, such as STEM skills – science,technology, engineering and math.
Junior Achievement also has middle school programs they shared. Grade 6 investigated their entrepreneurial characteristics with JA’s “It’s My Business” program. The Grade 7 program “Global Marketplace” presented students with the concept of international trade. Grade 8 students reviewed the “Economics for Success” portion of the JA program, understanding their skills, interests and values in considering their future education, careers and other life choices.
The mission of St. Gabriel School includes encouraging students to have a positive self-image as well as a commitment to the well-being of family, church, and community which shapes students into problem-solvers within a global society. This mission, along with the core values of the Junior Achievement program, including respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and backgrounds of all individuals and belief in the power of partnership and collaboration, made this program a great success. Students walked away with a fun and positive learning experience about the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century. For more information on St. Gabriel School, visit our website at www.StGabrielSchool.org. For more information on the Junior Achievement organization, go to www.ja.org.