OWATONNA — Recently sixth grade students from Owatonna Middle School and St. Mary’s School participated in the Junior Achievement (JA) Biz Town program. JA is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about financial literacy, college and career readiness, and entrepreneurship through experiential, hands on programs. Through the philanthropic spirit of many local volunteers, donors, and businesses, and with programming that utilizes the principles of financial literacy, market based economics, and entrepreneurial thinking to teach youth about the global economy, consumerism and employment JA has touched thousands of students in Owatonna.

One of the lessons taught as part of the Biz Town program is about Philanthropy and the Owatonna Foundation has been a proud participant in the teaching of the lesson. Trustees, staff, and volunteers met with the students and as part of the lesson each group of students got to choose where they could make a donation to a local charity. The donations are sponsored by the Owatonna Foundation and a total of $500 was made available.

The students unanimously choose the “We All Play” Inclusive Playground and Miracle Field project. “We are thrilled to participate in the JA program and to sponsor this donation to a very worthy project! All of us at the Owatonna Foundation understand the importance of teaching children about the spirit of philanthropy and the positive impact it will have for our community in the future.” said Foundation President, Betsy Lindgren. The all inclusive playground and miracle ball field will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, featuring areas that will facilitate children’s play through sensory experiences, gross motor play, cognitive play, as well as social and emotional interactions. We All Play Committee Co-Chair Amanda Gislason said this about the donation “We have been so blessed with the support from our community. I am so proud of our young community members; they have really stepped up to help make this dream a reality. One day soon we will be able to walk onto our new playground and Miracle League field and say that we all made this happen together.” Fundraising for We All Play is ongoing and the public is invited to make a donation at the We All Play website: http://www.weallplayowatonna.com

The Owatonna Foundation was established in 1958 with the goal of improving the quality of life for present and future generations of Owatonna residents. Since then, the Owatonna Foundation has invested more than $11.9 million dollars in grants to Owatonna projects and annually awards $30,000 in scholarships for both traditional and non-traditional students.

For more information about the Owatonna Foundation, please visit www.owatonnafoundation.org, or call their office at 455-2995.

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