Junior Achievement accomplishes a lot

To the editor:

The Wolf River District Junior Achievement program has enjoyed great support and success from the community since we all began to pull together in this effort here many years ago. However, there still are many local citizens unfamiliar with its programs, initiatives and goals.

The local JA District is comprised of Shawano and Menominee counties, including the Menominee Nation, and is one of 12 Junior Achievement districts. It is also part of the national Junior Achievement USA program. JA works to find local volunteers who go into area classrooms with a curriculum of interactive training materials unique to each grade level. Its purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy.

JA programs teach students about entrepreneurship and owning their own business, so they can be successful and remain a part of our local business community. JA programs help students prepare for the world of work by teaching them what employers expect from employees and how to be a contributing member of the workforce and business team.

JA programs also teach students financial literacy skills, such as budgeting, so they can manage their finances and make smart choices throughout their careers and lives.

These key initiatives are not required to be a part of the regular school curriculum and are a valuable resource for educators. The local Junior Achievement also holds an annual Business Challenge in February, a day-long competition for teams of local students. Teams are made up of three students, and a local business owner or representative then coaches them on how to run a business, understand all the decision-making required, etc. The winning teams receive scholarships to advance their education.

Just this past 2016-17 school year, JA provided 130 programs in 11 schools, reached 2,626 students, partnered with 96 teachers, worked with 96 volunteers representing more than 50 local businesses and awarded a total of $5,250 in scholarship monies to seven local students

The annual fund drive has begun. We ask you to consider donating your time, talents and/or resources in support of our 2018-19 programming to reach at least 2,650 students in 12 area schools. We believe that Junior Achievement provides vitally important programs to better prepare students so that they are able to own their success in the local community and the global economy.

For information on how you can volunteer or donate, call Sandy Ebbinger at 715-851-0698 or email sebbinger@jawis.org.

Karen Palmer,

Shawano