JA (Junior Achievement) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. In partnership with business and educators, JA programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and help strengthen their communities. JA classes, which are taught by community volunteers during the regular school day, are being started in Lac qui Parle County, beginning with K-1 and adding a grade each year thereafter. (Get program updates.)
How long has JA been around?
JA was founded in 1919, initially offered to high school students as an after-school program. In 1975, the program moved to the middle grades and subsequently to grade school. JA is in over 100 countries, with over 7 million students each year.
JA uses a third-party company to evaluate its programs (Worldwide Institute for Research and Evaluation). Students who participated in JA could recall critical information related to the free enterprise system. Findings suggest that participation in JA created an enduring understanding of several key economic concepts that are broader and more sophisticated than students who did not participate in JA, including JA’s Elementary School Program, over multiple years.
What are the programs?
Grade 2 – Our Community – Activities that demonstrate the responsibilities of and opportunities available to citizens in their economic community.
Grade 3 – Out City – Students conduct business operations, make city-planning decisions and examine economic development issues.
Grade 4 – Our Region – State economies, the economic resources of regions and decisions businesses must make about buying and selling resources.
Grade 5 – Our Nation – Provides practical information about businesses need for individuals who can meet the demands of the job market, including high-growth, high-demand jobs. It introduces the concept of globalization of business as it relates to production materials.
JA Dollars and Sense – For students in 3rd-5th Grade. Students learn financial and business kills through innovative activities and games that focus on earning, spending and saving money.
JA Global – Provides practical information about the glob al economy and its effect on students’ lives. The Program illustrated how countries’ resources affect their cultures, governments and economy. It also explains the benefits of international trade key global economic issues.
What is the cost?
The current cost is $200 per classroom, which includes the teacher’s guide, student workbooks and materials needed for the activities.
How long is the program?
It consists of five one-hour long sessions. The classroom teacher and volunteer determining how best to schedule the program
Pamela Lehmann – Chair, LqP EDA
Daniel Meyer - Big Stone VSO
Daniel Beiningen - President, United Prairie Bank
Kirk Meseck - Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church
Andrew & Andrea Lewis - Lewis Photo
Tom Nelson - Farmers Mutual Telephone
Luanne Fondell - Senior Closing Specialist, United FCS
Lee Gunderson - Manager, AG Processing
Lac qui Parle JA Committee