Recently, members of the Lee Media Group team have been spending time with Rose Hill third graders. For the next few weeks, we’ll be leaving our technical/marketing hats at the door and instead, we’ll be donating our time to talk to the littles about banking, business decisions, critical thinking skills, and a whole host of other concepts using curriculum from Junior Achievement of Kansas.
In Miss Mason’s third grade class at Rose Hill Primary school, tiny knees bounce under the table and an excited murmur swells through the class as our staff walks through the door. With summer just a few weeks away, the kids welcome these Thursday visits as a much-needed break from final assignments and year-end tests. Temporary teachers – Kelsey Shackelford, Tabytha Rourke, and Erin Thompson arrive with props and other materials in tow. Sometimes they even bring along a special guest. Week one it was the new mayor of Rose Hill, Beth Pompa.
Junior Achievement of Kansas has a long-standing reputation for teaching children real-world concepts. State-wide donors and volunteers keep this valuable resource thriving. “Educating our clients is an important part of the services we provide to them,” said Mia, “When we had the opportunity to be involved in the education process of local third graders, we said yes!”
A typical Junior Achievement class is roughly an hour long. Each week, volunteers receive a kit containing interactive games, and other materials to keep the kids engaged. Teaching a class of curious third graders definitely keeps our team on their toes. “They have the best questions,” said Kelsey. “Every week we have a short meeting in the office to discuss the curriculum for the next class so we’ll be prepared, but their questions are always a surprise.” Questions like, why do we have taxes, why did Apple Market close, and have you ever met the President are just a few of the recent queries.
“By becoming a Junior Achievement sponsor we were able to purchase materials for the 5-week curriculum,” explained Mia. “The best part was being able to give the lessons in person.” At Rose Hill Primary, all the students are warming up to their Thursday morning guests, but one student is especially happy for the visit – Tabytha’s daughter Lily. Some kids might see mom’s presence in the classroom as an intrusion on their social life, but Lily thinks the whole thing is, “pretty awesome.”
The curriculum provided by Junior Achievement is similar for each class but scaled for each grade level, and while volunteers may be teaching real-world concepts like planning a business, digital communication, and city zones, the information still correlates with state social studies, English, and math standards.
Our Lee Media Group ambassadors, Kelsey, Erin, and Tabytha have enjoyed their debut as Junior Achievement volunteers, but they all agree Miss Mason can have her full time gig. “Teaching at the elementary level is tough,” said Erin. “We had a great time pretending though.”
For more information on how your company can volunteer for Junior Achievement of Kansas, contact Educational Coordinator, Julie Carver at firstname.lastname@example.org.