Times change. For the first time in 16 years the twelve Adams County Junior Achievement volunteers will be in seventh grade classrooms rather than fifth grade classrooms. Roy Willman, Junior Achievement Coordinator explained the process, “Last year we talked among ourselves about moving, then worked with the Junior Achievement support team in Columbus and Superintendent Richard Seas and Lisa Toole, Curriculum Coordinator for the Adams County/Ohio Valley School District. We decided to move the program for a variety of reasons, but primarily we saw the seventh grade program, called Economics for Success, as a great fit with the priorities the schools have established.”
The Economics for Success program goes right to the heart of a successful economic life: choosing the right career and managing money properly. The first class encourages students to increase awareness of their skills, interests, and values, as they consider education, careers, and other life choices. Students in the second session will explore how to set goals for their financial future as they play the “Be a Success Game” to see the connection between personal finance, education and careers.
The next two sessions feature activities that help students understand how different jobs provide different pay and how, based on that pay, they can evaluate the “opportunity costs” when making budget decisions. They’ll examine how consumers pay for goods and services and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using debit and credit cards. In the final class, students demonstrate that life involves risk and that insurance helps to reduce the financial consequences of loss or injury.
There are 12 local business people who team with seventh grade social studies teachers to present the six-part series, starting on April 21. Each visit takes about 45 minutes, with the volunteers using their personal life experiences to bring the curriculum to life for the students.
Nancy Horvath, a volunteer for many years, expressed the regret the volunteers had with leaving the elementary schools: “We really enjoyed working with the fifth graders and their teachers and will miss that age group. The teachers were so supportive of Junior Achievement over the years- many thanks to them.”
Paul Worley, Adams County Commissioner, recently attended a volunteer training session for the new program. Worley added, “I think this new program will be well received by the seventh graders. While this first year will tell, the curriculum seems relevant and useful.”
The volunteers and teachers for this year are:
Peebles – Stan Dodridge (teacher) with Nichole Shaw (Fifth Third Bank), Roy Willman (Willman Facilitation), Paul Worley (Adams County Commissioner), and Max Craft (First State Bank);
West Union – Karen Cunningham and Chris Reed (teachers) with John Linkous (National Bank of Adams County), Barbara Durst (Beacon Knowledge Group, LLC), Mike McCann (National Bank of Adams County) and Mike Pell (First State Bank);
North Adams – Kelly Boerger (teacher) with Nancy Horvath (Merchants National Bank), Dan Wickerham (Adams Brown Recycling), Bethany Pistole (First State Bank) and Monica Bowling (Bowling Insurance Group).
The local financial supporters for Junior Achievement are: First State Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Adams County/Ohio Valley Schools, Merchants National Bank, Willman Facilitation and National Bank of Adams County. These supporters provide 100% of the funds to purchase the Junior Achievement kits, the only expense the program has.