News and Announcements | Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes

JA OF THE MICHIGAN GREAT LAKES NEWS & PRESS RELEASES

 

Portland elementary school, bakery team up for Junior Achievement project 

PORTLAND — All next week shoppers at Tom's Food Center will be able to purchase limited edition donuts. While all of Tom's baked goods are delicious, these will be extra-special, because they were designed by "Sweet O's Donut Shop" — second-graders at Oakwood Elementary School.

The students have been participating in a Junior Achievement program that helps kids understand what it takes to make their economic dreams come true.

Oakwood Principal Elizabeth Findlay and teachers Molly Clark, Lindsey Bos, Karen Palmiter and Katie Durham teamed up with Madeline Shellberg, community outreach and education specialist from Portland Federal Credit Union, and Deborah Smith, vice-president of education for Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes to help more than 100 second-graders learn how citizens like themselves contribute to a community's success. 

Through the JA "Our Community" program, students learned how communities work, how money flows through that community, and how workers provide goods and services to meet community needs.

"We've been talking to them about the community and what goes on, entrepreneurship, money and products," Smith said.

For decades, JA volunteers have worked to empower young people to own their economic success. These days there are JA programs for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, developed to help them believe in themselves and know they can bring their hopes and dreams to fruition.

In the second session activity, Oakwood second-graders pretended to be bakers at "Sweet O's Donut Shop," seeing the process through from concept and design to production and presentation. Students drew paper donuts and described them. Then they were challenged to come up with a way to increase sales of this "donut company," said Smith.

To further enhance their experience, Smith reached out to Steve Antaya, vice president of Tom's Food Center, who offered to turn the students' donut designs into a real product.

"Tom's Food Center was kind enough to look at all the donuts they colored ... and picked one donut from each class," Smith said. "Then Tom's made the donuts and donated them to the students."

This is the second time Tom's Food Center has partnered with JA, said Antaya. He was happy to work with Smith again, and said she had good ideas for how to make this time around even better for students.

"The kids learn good skills and they seem to enjoy it. It's fun for us to make these crazy donuts that only children would come up with, to say ‘I came up with that, somebody made it and it's real,' with their crazy imagination," he said. "I let our bakery team participate in it and decide what is actually doable, what they think are the coolest things, and then get to make a handful of them."

But Tom's took it a step further. Antaya told the students that, if they created a sign to market their product, he'd set up a table at the store and offer the donuts for sale. Tom's Food Center will be featuring these innovative student donuts beginning Monday.

"The first time the kids got to try them. They told the parents about it, and that's cool. It was (Smith's) idea to bring the parents in to see them. I said, 'Why don't we make some of these for a week, have a small display, tell people what the project was and maybe they'll sell," Antaya said. "The kids can bring in mom and dad, they don't have to take time off from work, and it gives them the opportunity to pop in and get a chance to see what the project was when they're able to."

The students learned a valuable lesson: that a community works together, and businesses rely on each other, said Smith.

"We wanted the kids to see that it really does happen in real life, and that they are only in second grade, but their ideas matter," she said. "This is a wonderful opportunity and the kids are super-excited. They think now they're going to be famous."

The donuts will be available through the week, Antaya said. "We'll gauge our production based on how many go out the door. Like with anything."

Tom's Food Center is located at 1462 E. Grand River Ave.

 http://www.sentinel-standard.com/news/20180113/portland-elementary-school-bakery-team-up-for-junior-achievement-project

Junior Achievement Wraps Up Successful First Semester at Greenville Middle School

Greenville, Mich., December, 2017Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes brought its middle school programming to Greenville Middle School this fall so that every student could receive JA programming. Thirty volunteers stepped up to bring JA Global Marketplace®,JA It's My Future, and JA Personal Finance to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students throughout the semester.

JA Global Marketplace® focuses on the relationships between businesses and their customers as well as the cultural differences in the global economy. Students learned about international etiquette as well as important business concepts such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies and standards. JA It's My Future® and JA Personal Finance® teach students about possible career opportunities and encourage self-reflection about their future, as well as highlighting growing career fields.

These programs were only made possible by the generosity of two donors: The Greenville Area Community Foundation and Commercial Bank. The foundation sponsored JA It's My Future® and JA Personal Finance® was sponspred by Commercial Bank. 

Reaction to the programs was highly positive by volunteers, students, and teachers. First-time volunteer Autumn O'Connor said, "This semester went great, we had a good time. I feel like the kids learned a lot and I learned a lot. A great experience for my first time with JA." Cindy Bates, who has been volunteering with Junior Achievement for five years, said, "The Greenville schools are so welcoming and so thankful for our involvement in this program; coming in and taking time out of our days to spend with the kids." Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes looks forward to returning in the spring semester to deliver elementary school programing as well as the JA Titan® and JA Personal Finance® high school programs. More volunteers are needed for the spring semester. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact Amanda Hentsch at (616) 575-9080x232 or Amanda.hentsch@ja.org.

Once again, thank you to The Greenville Area Community Foundation for helping us initiate all of our pilot programming at Greenville Middle School. 

About Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is the nation's 18th largest JA chapter and an area office of JA USA, the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. The organization offers programs to help prepare young people in Mid, West, and North Michigan for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and are empowered to own their economic success. Visit www.westmichigan.ja.org for more information.

Early Financial Literacy: JA Ourselves Being Brought to Local Classrooms 

Fremont, Mich., November, 2017 - Eight kindergarten programs through Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes will be funded by a grant from the Gerber Foundation.
JA Ourselves introduces students to the intersection of financial literacy and kindergarten social studies learning objectives, including personal economics and the choices people make to meet their needs and wants. 
It includes a series of five sessions that use compelling stories read aloud by the volunteer, along with hands-on activities,to demonstrate helping, working, earning, and saving. Session-specific, age-appropriate materials are included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA's experiential approach to learning. 

"Financial services are becoming more complex," said Catherine Obits Program Manager for the Gerber Foundation. "The earlier we can begin to teach young children effective money management skills, the better equipped they will be as adults achieve financial security and live independently.
"We are so grateful to the Gerber Foundation for the chance to bring these programs to children in Newaygo County," said Bill Coderre President of Junior Achievement of Mid Michigan. 
https://www.nearnorthnow.com/news/early-financial-literacy

 

West Michigan Business Hall of Fame Welcomes Two New Inductees

Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame Dinner

Grand Rapids, Mich., May 29, 2014 – Furniture manufacturer Don Heeringa and banker Kevin Kabat were inducted into Junior Achievement's West Michigan Business Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 29.

Entrepreneurs and philanthropists Wilbur and Sharon Lettinga also were honored with the Edward J. Frey Sr. Distinguished Achievement Award at the dinner held at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Read More...

Community Volunteers and West Michigan Legends to be Honored at 25th Annual Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame

Wilbur and Sharon Letting

Grand Rapids, Mich., May 15, 2014 – Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc. (JA) announced today that Wilbur and Sharon Lettinga will receive the Edward J. Frey, Sr. Distinguished Achievement Award, and Renee Williams from Huntington Bank will be awarded the David B. Hensch JA Volunteer of the Year Award.All will be honored at the 25th annual Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony on May 29, 2014at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More...

Leaders to be Honored at the 25th Annual Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame

BOH Laureates

Grand Rapids, Mich., April 28, 2014 – Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc. (JA) announced today that DonaldHeeringa, chairman of Trendway Corporation, and Kevin Kabat, vice chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, will be inducted into the Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame. Heeringa, Kabat will be honored at the 25thannual Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony on May 29, 2014at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More...

2014 West Michigan Business Hall of Fame Inductees Named by Junior Achievement

BOH Laureates

Grand Rapids, Mich., April 28, 2014 – Donald Heeringa, chairman of Trendway Corp. of Holland, and Kevin Kabat, vice chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp., will be inducted into the West Michigan Business Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc. (JA) announced Monday, April 28.

Heeringa and Kabat will be honored at the 25th annual Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony on May 29 at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Read More...

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

Get Involved!

Junior Achievement
of the Michigan Great Lakes

Donate Now    Volunteer    Request a
Program