November 1, 2022
After two months of classroom learning about personal finance and how to run a business in their social studies class, fifty-two 5th graders, with their teachers Mrs. Erin Petrillo and Mrs. Karen Curtis, headed to JA (Junior Achievement) BizTown to run their own town!
“JA BizTown creates an unmatched experience where 4th through 6th grade students are able to interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of managing organizations. Here, students not only discover the intricacies of jobs and being members of the community, but also discover the abundance of opportunities available within their cities.” (https://jaorswwa.org/ja-biztown)
The students ran the Northwest Sports, ON Semiconductor, Oregon Humane Society, Pacific Office Automation, Allstate, Business Journal, Café, and Fred Meyer. Another school also participated, so the students got to mingle with other town citizens. Every student had a job responsibility from sales manager, café worker, store manager, reporter, finance director, CFO, CEO or business representative.
After setting up their stores and preparing their products, students sat through a town meeting where each company promoted their goods and services.
One of our 5th graders shared, “It’s fun to act like an adult!” They each had to visit KeyBank to deposit their paycheck, write a check, and go shopping! And it was a real life experience as the kids stood in line to deposit their paycheck, “this line is so long, it’s using up all my break time!”
Some of the not so fun aspects of adulting came when one of the PCS café workers, Alexa, noted, “I can't believe the audacity of these people who just left all their garbage on the cafe tables!”
The commitment level of our students was apparent when Mrs. Curtis shared, “CFO Akasha asked me on the bus at 1:50 pm, "When we get back to school, can I eat my lunch? I worked through all my breaks and didn't have time to eat.”
Thank you to the 12 parent volunteers who accompanied our fifth graders. We couldn’t do our field trips without you!
Written by Grace Dugger