GREEN Students at Green Primary School had an opportunity to have visitors from local communities and businesses visit for the day.
The daylong event, in which volunteers led programs and activities, was Junior Achievement's "JA in a Day," which was filled with activities for the first-, second- and third-graders.
Junior Achievement, a nationwide nonprofit organization, is active in the Green Local School District as well as many other Summit County schools. The Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio office covers 1,225 classrooms, which is about 25,000 students, during the 2016-17 school year. Program Manager Hannah Moore works with the North Central Ohio area and manages Summit County. She said what makes Junior Achievement special is the volunteer element.
The materials and lessons from Junior Achievement helps teachers with their Ohio learning standards and also helps students prepare for their state tests.
"It is the special ingredient that brings us to life," she said.
On this special day, first, second and third graders completed five lessons in each grade level. The first-grade volunteers were mostly Diebold, Bridgestone and Summa employees as well as Assistant Superintendent Dan Lowmiller. Second-grade volunteers were FedEx Custom Critical employees and third-grade volunteers were a combination of firemedics, parents and student teachers, as well as a variety of corporate volunteers.
First-graders worked on Junior Achievement's "Our Families," second-graders on "Our Community" and third-graders on "Our City."
Our Families, introduces students to the intersection of entrepreneurship, along with first grade social studies. The students were learning how family members jobs and businesses contribute to the well-being of the family. Moore said they were learning about needs verses wants; about jobs in the community; and how money moves throughout the community.
Our Community is designed to put community life into perspective for the students. They explore business, citizenship, economics and the roles of people working in a community. They are learning about different jobs and the kids work in a production line to make donuts and the volunteer has to inspect them for defects. Kids get paid in fake money and then the tax collector comes and collects some of their money.
Our City works on financial literacy and the third-grade social studies learning objectives, including characteristics of cities and how those in business and running a city manage money. Moore said it fascinates her as to what the third graders are learning: credit cards, checkbooks, etc. They work in small groups to open up restaurants, appointing managers, accountants, pay bills, make a business plan and more.
"It is making an impact with the kids," Moore said.
Cliff Johnson, of Global Engineering Services at Diebold-Nixdorf, said, "Our Families program opens up to our young people the possibilities of participating in the future of their communities with their gifts and talents."
Johnson also said that the program, coupled with the material and student exercises that Junior Achievement provides, reinforces to each child the importance of family, community and needs versus wants and the concepts of entrepreneurship.
"The volunteers bring the passion, the students bring their receptiveness to learning and it is a win for families and communities," he said.
JA in a Day events are special because it allows local corporations to give back during a four-hour window throughout the day. This JA in a Day was Moore’s largest event of the year with 35 classrooms. There are also weekly program deliveries where volunteers can create their own schedules with the educator matched.
"That is what makes JA so great, the flexibility and the professional partnerships that evolve between the volunteers and educators that work with one another," Moore said.
Moore said programs like this could not be done without the volunteers and those who support the efforts "like Romeo's Pizza in Uniontown which donated sheet pizzas for my volunteers."
To get involved in JA, visit the website www.jaofnco.ja.org or call 330-434-1875, ext. 11.