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Revere students schooled on financial literacy

2/16/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Revere High School juniors and seniors taught Hillcrest Elementary third-graders about financial literacy as part of a Junior Achievement (JA) program Feb. 10. Most of those students are pictured above.
One of the class activities offered as part of the lessons is shown at right.
Photos courtesy of Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio
BATH — Third-graders at Hillcrest Elementary School learned a little about how businesses work Feb. 10 thanks to a Junior Achievement (JA) of North Central Ohio program that aims to teach students about financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

According to Hannah Moore, JA district manager for Summit County, JA is a not-for-profit organization that helps young people learn about and develop skills to further their own economic success through core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Various programs are available for elementary, middle school and high school students, including an afterschool session where students meet for a period of time to act as CEOs of an imaginary company and create and market a product. JA also offers the Titans program, where high school students can compete for scholarship awards, as well as a career readiness program to help college students prepare for employment after graduation, and host a bowl-a-thon and golf outings to raise funds.

Moore, a graduate of Revere High School, said these programs are provided free of charge to schools, but the organization does raise money to implement the programs through donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and from special events. Organizations can also sponsor a class program for $640.

“We work with educators to pick a program that will work for their students and find volunteers to teach the program,” said Moore. “Our volunteers are the special ingredient that bring the program to life.”

Hillcrest Elementary chose to implement the JA in a Day: JA Our City program and invited Revere High School juniors and seniors to volunteer for a short training session to learn to teach five different 30-minute lessons, each of which included an activity, to third-graders in one day. The five topics taught to nine classes of third-graders included: A Place Where People Live, Work and Play; A Place Where People Spend Money; A Place Where People Bank; A Place Where People Dine; and A Place Where People Communicate.

Revere High School students Andrew Boyazis and Beckett Fant teach third-graders in Richard Booth’s class during the JA Our City program Feb. 10.
Photo: Maria Lindsay
According to Moore, the program examines the importance of money to a city and how people and businesses manage their money. The presentation included how people use different methods to pay for goods and services, how financial institutions help businesses and people achieve economic goals, the process of starting a restaurant and the importance of news media to the financial well-being of a city.

Moore added the lessons have a greater impact on the third-graders because they are taught by high school students.

“Real life lessons come from real life people,” said Moore. “The high school students are heroes to the third-graders.”

The juniors and seniors from Revere High School who taught third-graders about the JA Our City program included Andrew Boyazis, Jack Brokloff, Jake English, Beckett Fant, Clayton Fink, Jordan Gifford, Zack Kasson, Peter Koutrodimos, Paul Liccardi, Roberto Lebron, Alex Lupo, Nick Packo, Mickey Paxton, Jake Petersen, Nolan Printy, Lauren Sadataki, Kiernan Snider and Roland Zielinski.

Hillcrest Elementary JA coordinator and teacher Deidre Hichens said the lessons are a precursor to a unit on economics and help prepare students for coming state tests on the subject matter.

“This JA program enhances our economics curriculum and brings it to life, and the high school students really look forward to being a teacher,” said Hichens.

High school economics teacher Rachel Walgate added the high school students participating in the program are part of another JA program at the high school.

“I think the students saw economics at a different level,” she said of their participation at Hillcrest Elementary. “They learned about it from a different perspective, and teaching it to students reinforces what they learn. They put their heart and soul into it.”

Walgate added the students told her “they had fun” interacting with the younger students, and they were surprised at how much the students took in about the subject matter.

“The volunteer effort was a good experience for them to give back, and it helped them learn how to be professional,” said Walgate. “It also helped them appreciate what teachers do.”

The high school student volunteers were treated to snacks and lunch, courtesy of Z’s Donutz & Eatery and Leonardo’s Pizza, before and after their presentations to the third-graders.

According to officials, various area schools and organizations such as Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, Asian Services in Action Inc. and Project GRAD Akron have used JA programs in the past.

Anyone interested in implementing a JA program may contact the organization at 330-434-1875.

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