Volunteer Awards Announced

At our board meeting on June 21, JA of Southwest Virginia recognized six volunteers for outstanding service during the 2015-16 school year:

      Volunteers of the Year: Mary Staples and Debbie Whitteker

      Volunteer Superheroes: Joanne Jones, Doug Phares, and Glenn Lindsay

      Spark Plug: Nancy Galli

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New Blended Learning Programs

Very exciting changes are being made to JA programming.  “JA is in the midst of an historic transformation that will allow our organization to pair JA volunteer mentors with digitally delivered curriculum, as part of a blended-learning experience, that will positively impact the students we serve,” says Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of JA USA.  In order to make these changes, JA USA has partnered with CrossKnowledge to develop a Learning Management System (LMS).  The LMS allows students, educators and JA’s network of more than 218,000 classroom volunteers to easily access JA curriculum using an electronic device and internet connection.  Don’t be alarmed, though, volunteers will still have face-to-face interaction with students!  The blended model continues to support the in-person delivery of curriculum content to students in the classroom. 

These high school programs have gone through the piloting phase of development and are fully ready for the classroom:

JA Company Program

JA Global Marketplace

JA Personal Finance

Both of these middle school programs may be piloted in all JA areas, and still available in kit form:

JA It’s My Business

JA It’s My Future

In addition, JA Our Region (4th grade) has been updated this year.  Stop by if you’d like to see how interactive and appealing it is!

If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact Laura Elliott, at 989-6392 x 202.

Adscape Wins National Award

JA of Southwest Virginia has been privileged to be a collaborator in the Adscape program, a new program developed by the Roanoke chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Last October, this program brought 100 high school students to Radford University for a day of exploring careers in the fields of Advertising and Communication. Students heard from professionals and faculty on topics like video production, commercial photography, public relations, agency management, 3D animation, social media marketing, and much more, including a keynote presentation by John Carlin of WSLS. The program won the Mosaic award for multicultural student programs. Click to learn more about the Mosaic awards.

GE Energy Challenge

Earlier this year, JA collaborated with volunteers from GE to host the GE Energy Challenge with 23 students from local high schools. Students had a chance to tour the GE plant in Salem, learn about engineering and problem solving, and try out some new skills.

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News and Announcements

Volunteer of the Year 2014-15

We've named Monica Farris, a 911 dispatcher with the Salem Police, our Volunteer of the Year for 2014-15. Monica has been an active volunteer since 2006 in several Salem elementary schools, presenting programs at all elementary grade levels. This year, she went above and beyond by presenting 14 programs in classes at GW Carver and South Salem Elementary. According to our records, which date back 15 years, this is the highest number of classes any volunteer has done in a single year, and in fact only one other volunteer has even come close. Monica has also introduced a new volunteer to JA this year. Thank you, Monica, for your enthusiastic efforts on our behalf!


Board Service Awards - Spring 2015

Please join us in thanking the following board members for their years of service to JA of Southwest Virginia:


Wayne Flippen: JA of Southwest Virginia has been most fortunate to have the talents and time of this gentleman for 25 years.  When transitions occurred in JA,Wayne could be found taking the lead with his wisdom and working along with the staff to keep the focus on the students.  Not only has Wayne been involved with governance and policy locally, he has had an interest in the JA USA policies and has taught multiple classes in the area.  


Steven Peak has been involved with Junior Achievement for 30 years, beginning with his GE career in Indiana as an advisor to JA Company Program participants.  He continued his JA involvement when he arrived in Virginia, joining the board of directors in 1999 and serving as board chair from 2004-2007.  Steve has taken his passion to his co-workers at TMEIC, successfully persuading them to volunteer to teach JA classes. TMEIC is also sponsoring at least ten classes at Oak Grove Elementary School. 


April is Financial Literacy Month


According to Junior Achievement's 2012 Teens and Personal Finance Survey, sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, only 56 percent of teens 14-18 years old think they will be as financially well-off or better than their parents. That represents a 37-percent drop from 2011 (89 percent).

The 2012 Junior Achievement Teens and Personal Finance survey also uncovered a dramatic shift in the age teens think they will be financially independent from their parents or guardians. Less than half the number of teens responded they'd be independent by age 20 versus a year ago (18 percent in 2012 versus 44 percent in 2011). The number of teens who said they would be independent by ages 25–27 doubled from last year (23 percent in 2012 versus 12 percent in 2011).

"Our research indicates JA programs help students see the important connections between what they learn in school and life after graduation," said Katherin  Elam, President of Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia. "Junior Achievement gives young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Through JA programs, students explore the role that money plays in achieving personal goals throughout life. They are empowered to develop, plan, set goals, and make thoughtful decisions that will help them protect themselves from the unexpected financial pitfalls that plague so many adults."

Other significant results from the survey revealed that teens agree money management is important, but they are not doing it. From 2011 to 2012, there was a three-fold increase in the number of teens who report not budgeting or managing their money (10 percent in 2011 versus 34 percent in 2012).

Junior Achievement's online and in-classroom curricula teach age-appropriate concepts around spending, sharing and saving money. Elementary students learn about taking responsibility for financial decisions, how to make those choices based on prioritizing needs and wants, and then develop a plan for spending and saving. Middle school students learn to take income into account to create a personal spending and savings plan that uses different payment methods, including credit. High school students build on these lessons and apply them to real life scenarios such as buying a car and paying for college.

The 2012 Teens and Personal Finance Survey was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, who is committed to partnering with Junior Achievement to empower teens with the economic resources and knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their financial future.

For more information about Junior Achievement in your area and how you can get involved, please contact Laura Elliott, V.P., Education at (540) 989-6392 or  email laura@ja.roacoxmail.com