Monday, April 22, 2013

Junior Achievement on TV

On Tuesday, April 16, students in Nottingham Elementary School teacher Stacey Perera’s first-grade class learned about values like home and community that are central to the nonprofit organization Junior Achievement (JA). At the same time, local Fox 26 reporter Thomas Zizka and a cameraperson filmed the students’ every move for a television report about young adults delaying their decision to leave home because of poor personal finances or employment issues.

Presenting his first Junior Achievement lesson to Nottingham Elementary students was ConocoPhillips volunteer Joshua Hanke, a highly personable young man who connected well with his young audience. Joshua, the son of two teachers, felt right at home in the classroom. As a part of this JA program, he will take the students through five, 30-minute lessons over the next few weeks that will focus on the importance of staying in school, and good family, business and community relations.

ConocoPhillips currently supports more than a dozen Junior Achievement classes in first-, second-, and third-grade classrooms at Nottingham Elementary. SBISD’s goal is to put JA volunteers in all its schools soon. A senior operations manager for JA of Southeast Texas, Thea Curry-Fuson, told Fox 26 reporter Zizka that teaching young people about money management and business values early in life really pays off.

“We need more opportunities like this to get students ready financially to take care of themselves so that they are not staying at home as young adults,” she said. “We need to talk to our children when they are young about family budgets, and how to handle a budget.”

In the earliest grades, improving student confidence and preparing them to do well and graduate on time may be the most important lessons. “If they are excited about school, that will help prepare them for the future,” she also said.

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