This summer, education majors from St. Charles Community College have been going into preschools and Boys and Girls Clubs to deliver Junior Achievement programs to students in underserved communities. The college students were able to count the time they spent teaching as part of their Field Experience requirement and, the children in these programs received an education about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, and the value of work. More than 150 preschool and elementary students were able to participate in a JA-In-A-Day experience in June and July.The JA program was delivered by students at the community college for the first time this summer and has been a tremendous success. Carolyn Harting of Mastercard has been a longtime volunteer for Junior Achievement and is also the Vice President on the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County. She and Linda Sanchez, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs, have wanted to see college students engaged in delivering JA programs to these children for several years now, and are thrilled to see that vision finally become a reality. Sanchez felt the SCCC students’ passion for teaching would be an added bonus when working with B&G Club children of widely varying academic and cognitive abilities.
Executive Director of Lullaby Inn of Wentzville, Meghann Rocha and Assistant Director of St. Ann, Gabrielle Murphy, have implemented the JA-In-A-Day program in their learning centers in the past, but were excited to have education majors present the JA programs to the children this summer.
Similarly, Bright Start Academy of St. Charles has offered the JA Ourselves program in the past with their own staff, but was very appreciative of the instruction from the SCCC students. “It has been wonderful welcoming the student instructors into our center and having them introduce concepts to the children. The instructors did an excellent job explaining and helping the children gain an early understanding of these concepts that will become the building blocks to their success later in life. We have had such a positive response from the teachers, as well as the children,” said Monica Joslin, Center director for Bright Start Academy.
It’s nice to be able to offer a win-win situation, where education majors can get their feet wet in a real classroom delivering age-appropriate financial concepts to children while accredited learning centers get trained volunteer assistance with their programming. The best part of the entire process is that the children have fun learning about money, real-life skills and elements of our economy.
To learn more about JA and how you can get involved go to www.JASTL.org/volunteer