Junior Achievement reaches more than 350 students

Wanda Gordon
Woodland Park Police Chief Bob Larson and Officer Nikki Tezak teach Ms. Vigil’s second-grade class about the various business people in their community. The two were volunteering their time for Junior Achievement.
Pat Hill
Posted

Junior Achievement of southern Colorado, along with more than 30 Teller County volunteers representing Woodland Park businesses, the police department, the city, local service clubs, several community members and a Teller County commissioner, spent the day teaching the Junior Achievement in a Day curriculum to first- through fifth-graders at Columbine Elementary School Feb. 19.

Guided by the classroom volunteers, more than 350 students learned about financial literacy from interactive programs designed to teach personal finance, work readiness, entrepreneurship and economic skills to empower young people to own their economic success.

Business volunteers represented Michael Harper Real Estate, Coldwell Banker/The Roshek Group, Vectra Bank, Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center and Century Link. Service club volunteers represented the Kiwanis Club of Ute Pass and the Ute Pass Lions Club.

Students learned to recognize the difference between wants and needs and understand life outside of their home and school by exploring businesses, the roles of people working in a community and the skills needed to perform certain jobs. Through engaging activities, these students also learned about STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — skills and resources.

As volunteers share their real-world experiences and present JA materials, they help students connect what they learn in school with what they can expect in the world of work. But the students aren’t the only ones who benefit from JA — the volunteers do as well.

Kiwanis Club member Pat Hyslop shared that she most enjoyed the interaction with the students and being able to teach them new concepts about business and free enterprise.

“We are very grateful for the Junior Achievement program and for all of the volunteers who took the time to be here with us,” said the school’s Principal Veronica Wolken. “JA in a Day has been here for two years now and this event is one of the highlights of the school year for our students and teachers.”

Volunteer with or donate to Junior Achievement and be a positive influence on the future of young people in Teller County. Contact Sherri L. Albertson, Teller County area coordinator at (719) 650-4089 or email sherri.albertson@ja.org.

The JA in a Day program will be held at Summit Elementary in April and at Gateway Elementary in May. JA also hopes to start a program for Woodland Park middle graders and to assist with business classes at the high-school level.