Connecting the dots between what kids learn in school and how it’s applied in the real world isn’t that simple. That’s why we created JA BizTown®, an engaging, hands-on program that introduces 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to economic concepts, workplace skills, and personal and business finances in a student-sized town built just for them.
Students first take part in a series of classroom lessons where they learn about working in and being consumers in today’s world. They work together to create business plans, calculate operating costs, design a marketing campaign, apply for jobs, vote for city officials, and explore careers. Then, they put their skills to work by becoming employees for a day at JA BizTown, our two learning facilities that feature more than 40 different businesses and industries.
During their time at JA BizTown, students operate a simulated economy and take on the challenge of running businesses. They get hands-on experience as both employees and consumers, paying rent, taxes and utilities, buying advertising from the radio station, conducting newspaper and TV interviews, purchasing insurance, depositing paychecks and buying other business’ products, handling customer service, and more.
Assisted by volunteer mentors, the students must make the hard and practical decisions to see their businesses thrive and succeed in their role, just like the real world.