Junior Achievement of Oklahoma Celebrates 50th Anniversary
"The future of our country depends upon making every individual fully realize the obligations and responsibilities belonging to citizenship. Habits are formed in youth ... what we need in this country now ... is to teach the growing generations to realize that thrift and economy, coupled with industry, are as necessary now as they were in past generations." - Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T), and co-founder of Junior Achievement, 1918
Founded by Horace Moses, Theodore Vail, and Sen. Murray Crane of Massachusetts, Junior Achievement started in 1919 as a collection of small, after-school business clubs for students in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Junior Achievement was introduced to Oklahoma in 1966 with organizations established in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. During these years, Junior Achievement programming was provided to high school students and the premier delivery of Junior Achievement was the JA Company Program. The JA Company Program remains the cornerstone of Junior Achievement. High school students who participate in the JA Company Program become entrepreneurs who build, promote and liquidate their unique business concept.
Junior Achievement continues to stay relevant with educational standards and curriculum delivery. Junior Achievement is recognized both by educators and the business community as the leading provider of economic education. Elementary school programs were introduced in 1990, computer based programs in 1988 and internet-based simulations in 2000. In 2002, with strong Junior Achievement Board commitment, a major capital campaign took place in the Tulsa area to build a Junior Achievement learning facility for students that included JA BizTown, an elementary capstone experiential economic learning opportunity for students in grades four through six. This Junior Achievement facility also provides a training site for Junior Achievement volunteers and teachers and a meeting place for both community and education partners.
A significant local change took place for Junior Achievement in 2009 when Junior Achievement of Greater Oklahoma City, Inc and JA of Eastern Oklahoma, Inc. merged to become JA of Oklahoma, Inc. Great things are happening as a result of this merger and the sharing of resources, best practices and business collaboration. The first year of the merger brought a focused approach to reach more Oklahoma students and provide them with a Junior Achievement learning experience.
For the 2015-2016 School Year
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