Sixth-grade students from Wainwright Middle School took on roles as citizens, workers and consumers of BizTown. The Junior Achievement program is an interactive, simulated town that's located in the Lafayette YMCA complex.
Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Hannah Tubbs says BizTown gives students hands-on experience in understanding finances. Before they take part in the simulation, students spend time in class discussing the various business concepts, as well as saving money, spending money, writing checks and applying for a loan.
Each student is assigned a job in Biztown and given a list of responsibilities. Mero Huffer was the radio DJ. “The most challenging part was reading the ads out loud, but overall it was fun,” says Mero. “I learned how to write checks and make deposits, as well as make good decisions with money. You should save some money so you don’t go into debt.”
Classmate Phoenix Reid was a credit union member consultant. “When I first started working on the computers, I had to deposit their money and give them two dollars back. Once I got the hang of it I was much better,” says Phoenix. “I learned how deposit tickets work and another thing I learned was how to write in a checkbook and how to write down stuff I got in the checkbook to keep track of how much money I have left.”
“I believe the students responded really well to the field trip and have a better understanding of financial literacy, and how an economy works,” says Tubbs. “I hope as they grow older, and they start having bank accounts and debit cards on their own, they will think back to this trip and how it better equipped them for their future. I hope they also take away the aspect of working in groups as they would in a future job or career someday.”