Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classes at Wainwright Middle School came to life at Junior Achievement’s BizTown. The program, located in the YMCA complex, simulates a town where students play the roles of citizens, workers and consumers.
FACS Teacher Jessica Plank says before arriving at BizTown, students work with their "coworkers" to accomplish a variety of tasks such as completing a business cost sheet, applying for a loan and writing advertisements for their business.
“Each student is assigned to a different position within a business and once they arrive they have a set of tasks they need to complete, much like a real job,” says Plank. “Students get paid for their work and learn how to cash checks, deposit money, and use debit cards. By the end of the day students will have gotten a glimpse of what it would actually be like to have a job and earn a paycheck.”
Sixth grade student Catie Holmes was a patient registrar at the Healthcare Center. “I enjoyed getting to talk to new people,” says Catie. “I learned that working isn’t easy and you need to find a proper way to take care of your money.”
Classmate JT Ulrey learned how to work with money as a credit union worker: “I took cash or paychecks from people and converted the cash into electronic money in the person’s bank account, or that but reversed.”
Student archer Tilley played the role as IRS Agent for City Hall. “I went and collected taxes from each business,” says Archer. “I learned what each business was and now I have a better understanding of the different jobs available.”
Plank says students benefit from the experience: “BizTown is a hands-on, fast paced environment that gives students the freedom to learn in a different way than what they're used to. Students really come out of their shells here.”