JA BizTown engages students in the role of workers and consumers in a series of classroom lessons that culminate in a day-long visit to JA BizTown, a fully-interactive simulated town. Through daily lessons, hands-on activities, and active participation in the simulated community, students develop successful participation in a worldwide economy.
Students learn about communities, the economy, free enterprise, taxes, and philanthropy. They delve into personal finances: how to write checks, use a debit card, keep a registry, make a deposit, and open a savings account. They explore work skills, teamwork, and job applications. Finally, in preparation for their visit to JA BizTown, students explore business management, including costs, pricing, advertising, and ethics.
At JA BizTown, students work individually and in teams to create business success. They also think from two perspectives: that of the consumer and that of the business person. As consumers, they receive a paycheck and a checkbook, and they handle JA BizTown cash and learn to make good decisions with their money. As business people, they are responsible for managing staff, working as a team, accounting for business expenses, and juggling their professional and personal responsibilities. Within each of the businesses in the town, they build a new understanding of work and careers.