May 5, 2014
TVA sponsors unique educational program for 5th grade students
Nashville—Powering communities in Middle Tennessee and six other states is the mission of the Tennessee Valley Authority. On Friday, TVA powered a different kind of community, one run by fifth grade students and housed in a 9,000 square-foot facility.
Known as JA BizTown, this lifelike mini-city provides a realistic setting for students to experience the workplace. The program, operated by Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee (JA), combines six weeks of classroom learning with a day spent running the town. Students hold jobs, manage personal checking and savings accounts, buy and sell merchandise, and work as a team to run successful businesses in the town.
Corporate and foundation support make it possible for JA to offer this unique program to 8,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee each year. This year marks the fifth in a row that TVA’s Economic Development team has sponsored the program for local schools. TVA’s 2014 gift underwrote the costs of providing the JA BizTown curriculum and experience to more than 90 students from Christ the King School and St. Ann School in Nashville and St. Matthew School in Franklin.
“TVA Economic Development sponsors JA BizTown because we believe it is very important to teach children the value of business. JA BizTown allows children to run the city, get paid and cash a check, purchase items while performing a job. This experience is so valuable,” said Heidi Smith, JA board member and general manager of global business and community development for TVA.
Smith continued, “There is an old saying, ‘Nothing happens until you sell something.’ Allowing children to make things happen by running the city for a day helps prepare them for real world experiences. We salute Junior Achievement for providing this experience.”
TVA Economic Development representatives Dianne Nunez and Glenda Betts were recognized for the company’s contribution to JA BizTown on Friday. The student-elected Mayor read an official proclamation welcoming Nunez and Betts and presented the pair with an official key to the city.
JA of Middle Tennessee President Trent Klingensmith said, “It is important for the students in JA BizTown to see the value in community support and Junior Achievement is grateful for the support of the Tennessee Valley Authority and all they have done to help the JA BizTown program thrive.”
Teachers elect to host the JA BizTown curriculum in their classrooms and bring the entire grade level to the facility, where students put into practice the economic, business, and workplace skills they have learned through the program.
To learn more about this program and additional sponsorship opportunities, please contact Bethany Wynns, director of JA BizTown, at 615.627.1205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: TVA receives a key to JA BizTown. Pictured are TVA representatives (back row) Dianne Nunez and Glenda Betts with JA President Trent Klingensmith and JA BizTown citizens (front row) representing Christ the King School and St. Ann School in Nashville and St. Matthew School in Franklin.
About JA BizTown®: Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee has operated JA BizTown since 2002, teaching 5th grade students the principles of owning and operating a business. Each year, nearly 8,000 students from Middle Tennessee schools participate in this half-million dollar program. After studying classroom concepts for six weeks, schools take a field trip to JA BizTown, where they spend the day running their own micro economy. JA BizTown features 14 shops and businesses, and gives students the chance to explore business, economy, and financial literacy. For more information, visit www.janash.com/jabiztown.
About Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee: Locally, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, a franchise of Junior Achievement USA® (JA), provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement offers classroom-based programs, JA BizTown, and the JA Company Program to students in Kindergarten through high school. Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1957, Junior Achievement now operates in 18 counties in the region, reaching over 31,000 students annually in over 2,000 classrooms throughout Middle Tennessee. For more information, visit www.janash.com.