Chamblee, GA, April 6, 2017 – The Post Reports – 210 sixth grade students from Chamblee Middle School (CMS) attended BizTown at the Junior Achievement (JA) Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center last week. The experience began in Mr. Valley and Mrs. Wahyudi’s Social Studies classrooms with JA provided curriculum that built the foundation for the culminating trip to JA BizTown: a half-day simulation in which students are able to participate in an interactive economy and take on the role of employee and consumer.
During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, and makes purchasing decisions. The interactive simulation provides students the opportunity to not only learn about finances and careers, but allows them to transform into adults for the day, becoming the sole decision maker and taking ownership of their professional success.
DeAnn McEntire, one of the 6th grade math teachers, explains ”BizTown is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about the business world and how much work it takes to make a profit.”
“This is Chamblee’s fourth year participating in BizTown and each year it is fascinating to see the different aspects the student business groups choose to focus on,” reports teacher Greg Valley. “Two years ago the groups were very focused on creating business slogans, jingles, and cheers to get customers’ attention. Last year’s group focused on dressing the part and drawing customers into their business with games, live music, and cross-promotion. This year’s group really focused on the bottom line and spent significant time determining product pricing so they could earn a profit.”
While the 6th graders attended BizTown, over 350 seventh grade CMS students attended JA Finance Park. Finance Park teaches students how to manage personal finance through simulations where they have to balance their incomes with expenses such as house and car payments. Seventh grade teachers Cynthia Chamness, John Donegan, and Kim Peddrew implement the curriculum in their classrooms so that students are familiar with these concepts before they arrive at Finance Park and start working through the simulation.
“Thanks to partnerships with local school systems and the business community, we are able to give students an authentic and relevant experience that leaves a lasting and measurable impact,” said Jack Harris, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Georgia. “Together we are shaping the next generation into individuals who are equipped to lead our community and play an integral role in our economy.”
The JA Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center opened in August 2013 and serves more than 30,000 middle school students a year from Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Marietta City Schools. JA opened its second JA Discovery Center in August 2015, bringing the immersive facilities’ annual impact to more than 60 percent of metro Atlanta middle school students. The third, the Mike & Lynn Cottrell JA Discovery Center at North Georgia, is set to open in Cumming, GA in August 2018.
To find out more about JA BizTown and how you or your organization can get involved, visit www.georgia.ja.org.