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The Innovation Academy and the Junior Achievement of Alachua have partnered to create a day of service where UF Innovation Academy students will visit a local elementary school and deliver the JA K-5 programs to help local elementary students reach their full potential—jump-starting their progress towards acquiring the necessary skills for the 21 Century global workforce.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices. Independent studies show that JA programs work. Students who go through the programs gain a greater understanding of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.
Imagine a city where young consumers (10-12 years old) rush to the bank to deposit their paychecks, sales managers create merchandise displays and reporters interview local business leaders to get the most up-to-date story. Across the way, the restaurant prepares for the lunch hour and the mayor meets with CEOs to get an understanding of current economic trends. This could be any city in the country, but it is this image that perfectly describes a day at JA BizTown.
JA BizTown is an indoor center that contains a mini-city of public and private businesses. Each business within the center is sponsored by a real local business and displays the authentic logo and the actual marketplace appearance of the sponsor bringing the town to life for the students. Before visiting JA BizTown, students complete a 12 lesson teacher taught curriculum program where they learn basic economic principles such as how to manage their personal bank account. They also participate in job interviews, learn about their new workplace and the job they will perform. They complete and bring a business plan with them. Jobs range from retail sales professionals, TV reporters, CEOs, CFOs, medical professionals to financial advisors. There is even a mayor!