JANLA helps students ‘achieve’

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Kevin Odom, Community Relations Officer for Bossier Federal Credit Union, helps fourth grader Brykyla Hampton with an activity on Junior Achievement Day this week at Meadowview Elementary School. More than 30 volunteers helped make “JA in a Day” a success Tuesday.

Junior Achievement in a Day visits Meadowview

Local business and community volunteers partnered together to give Meadowview Elementary School a “JA in a Day” experience this week unlike ever before.

Volunteers from businesses and community partners immersed students in a day-long lesson in money, how to become a successful entrepreneur, the economy and what makes a global society. For the first time, all kindergarten through fifth grade students participated in a day of activities and educational opportunities provided by Junior Achievement of North Louisiana.

Kevin Odom, Community Relations Officer for Bossier Federal Credit Union, said partnering with local schools plays a big role in their community outreach. Odom and business colleague, Jill Skaggs, worked with fourth grade students on how to be confident, creative and ambitious in their

“We take this as an opportunity to show the children that they can be successful business men and women with hard work and education,” Odom said. “We like to show them that learning things in the business world can be a little fun and exciting too.”

More than 30 volunteers helped make “JA in a Day” a success Tuesday. Billie Thomas, fourth grade teacher, said she will use it is a learning tool throughout the year in her classroom.

“There are a lot of core values from Junior Achievement that we will use to teach this series, like profit, responsibility and the reward for running a successful business,” Thomas explained.

An example of this will be the next lesson planned for all Meadowview fourth graders based on the Lemonade War, a book about two children who have an all-out war to see who can sell the most lemonade before school starts. Thomas said she will build on JA Day lessons in profit, revenue general business skills.

Principal Dr. Shelly Barrett said she jumped at the opportunity to expand “JA in a Day” activities to all grade levels because it’s a real life example of how a hands on curriculum and learning style works in today’s classrooms.

“It’s impressive to see how much they covered in just one day,” Barrett said. “These are real world, up to date learning scenarios presented by young, hard working adults. We couldn’t have asked for better community role models.”

The mission of Junior Achievement is “to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy” through “creative energy, fervor, and decisive action.” Nita Cook, President of Junior Achievement for North Louisiana, said their goal is to provide student, from kindergarten through high school, with a hands on educational experience in real life subjects, such as financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship.

“We want to inspire and prepare future generations to succeed in a global business market,” Cook said. “The benefits are long lasting and the partnerships keep growing. We’re making a positive impact on local communities.”

Cook said the local branch of Junior Achievement is expected to touch the lives of more than 7,000 students this year, ranging from elementary to high school, in north Louisiana alone. A total of 115 million students worldwide have been impacted by JA since the organization began in 1919.

For more information on Junior Achievement, visit http://northlouisiana.ja.org/