ST. PAUL — The Bosch Community Fund recently awarded Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest a grant for $5,850 to fund the participation of all Owatonna Middle School 6th grade students in the JA BizTown experiential learning program during the 2018-2019 school year.
JA BizTown is a 10,000 square foot, kid-sized city within Junior Achievement headquarters in St. Paul, MN. It is designed to teach students about the role of businesses in the economy, the flow of money through a community, and the responsibilities of work. At the same time, JA BizTown encourages creative, critical and entrepreneurial thinking that develop life skills. The program consists of in-class lessons taught by teachers and ends with a daylong visit to JA BizTown, where the students put the lessons they learned into practice. During this experience, students get to be grown-ups for a day, experiencing the real-world responsibilities of being a consumer, worker, and community citizen. By working in one of 15 JA BizTown shops, students learn what it takes to run a successful business, manage their own finances, and work as a team.
“The simulation experiences both in the classroom and at JA BizTown are second to none,” said Jen Hansen, Sixth Grade teacher at Owatonna Middle School. “The real life experiences provided for our students give them a taste of what the world of work will be like. Our students love the opportunities provided through the JA BizTown curriculum.”
The Bosch Community Fund gift covers the entire cost for the curriculum and field trip so that all students can participate at no cost to their families.
“JA BizTown is a great way for young students to experience the world of work, hone their soft skills, and discover new career fields,” said Laura Heyne, District Manager of Junior Achievement in Owatonna. “Students learn about becoming part of the workforce and also about the personal responsibilities of getting paid and managing their own money.”
This year’s OMS sixth graders will visit JA BizTown in April, 2019.