What are the steps involved in requesting a classroom program?
- Check out our list of programs online to find the perfect one for your class, and then fill out our online request form. Once we receive a request, your class is added to an open class list, and we start recruiting your volunteer(s).
- At that time, we encourage you to look for your own volunteer by asking friends, family, and classroom parents. If you find one before we do, just let us know, and we'll provide training and materials to that person. To help with recruitment, we will provide a letter/email to send home with your elementary or secondary school students.
- If you are requesting JA Finance Park® or Empowered through Ethics, please complete a program-specific request form online.
Is there a cost?
Most of our programs are 100% free! For JA Finance Park, there is a small $5 fee per student due to the added cost of maintaining the program. (Henrico County Public Schools and Richmond Public Schools cover this cost for their schools.)
Can I recruit a classroom parent to be my JA volunteer?
Yes! We encourage all teachers to begin with the easiest volunteers to reach and engage - parents.
While we do our best to find every class a volunteer, a classroom parent is often the quickest option, as parents love helping in the classroom and have a vested interest. To help with recruitment, we can provide a letter/email to send home with your elementary or secondary school students. We also suggest asking your friends and family to volunteer.
Often, an entire grade level will participate in JA programs and room parents volunteer. We can even do a group training if you have several parent volunteers interested.
How often will my volunteer visit?
The beauty of Junior Achievement is in its flexibility to accommodate your schedule. You and your volunteer can decide how often works best for you, anywhere from teaching all five lessons in one day (the model used for a JA in a Day in elementary schools) to having your volunteer visit once every week or two. Once you have set your schedule, please fill out our class status form online to keep us in the loop.
How much time will the entire program take?
For elementary school, each lesson takes 30-45 minutes to complete. If completed back-to-back, the entire program can take anywhere from 2 ½ (K-1st) to 4 hours (2nd-5th). During this time, you are encouraged to provide students with breaks as necessary.
For middle or high school, each lesson takes 45-60 minutes to complete. In the majority of our secondary programs, there are 5-7 lessons, and we recommend having no more than 2 lessons taught back-to-back in one visit.
Do I have to stay in the classroom during the entire lesson?
Yes, while our volunteers are fantastic, they are not trained teachers. They receive training with some basic teaching and classroom management tips, but they rely on you for help along the way, especially with behavior management.
How can I best support my JA volunteer in the classroom?
Before your volunteer teaches, we recommend meeting with her/him in your classroom to go over expectations. This is a great time to mention any exceptional students in your classroom, as well as to look over the content of our program to point out what students may already know. At this time, please share any attention-getters or phrases used in your classroom.
When your volunteer returns to teach, be involved in her/his teaching. Make connections to what students have already learned; help create groups as needed; check in with students while they participate in activities; and monitor student behavior.
How can Junior Achievement help my students?
JA programs connect students with community volunteers to inspire and prepare them with life skills for their future success. It's everything you want for your students, provided by an invested volunteer through activity-based curriculum.
Do JA programs correlate to the Virginia Standards of Learning?
Yes, the specific correlations can be found on our website at www.jatoday.org.
Should I request a JA program if I've already taught the topics in the lessons?
What sets our programs apart from so many others is that we utilize volunteers to teach our content in your classroom. For most students, they have either already been taught the material or will be taught the material again after the JA lessons because our lessons merely supplement yours. While our content and activities are valuable and beloved by students and teachers alike, the real power of JA is in the outside perspective our volunteers offer your students. Not only do they provide real-life examples from the business world, they also demonstrate a community investment in the future of your students.