Go Back to School—as a Junior Achievement Volunteer
ANCHORAGE—Back-to-school season is here. Thousands of area students are back in school to learn the “three R’s”—Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. But there is a fourth “R” that many students may be missing out on, and that’s “Relevance” as it relates to what they are learning in school and how it will apply later in life. Junior Achievement of Alaska (JAA) is seeking classroom volunteers to help students make that connection.
Research conducted by Junior Achievement and Survey Monkey shows that helping students link what they learn in school to life outside the classroom is one of the biggest concerns facing teachers. Junior Achievement recruits volunteers, primarily from the business community, to share their experience with students on subjects like managing money, career exploration, and starting a business. In the process, students learn how volunteers used what they learned in school to become successful adults. The volunteers are supported by JA’s proven programs to create an experience that is beneficial for students and meaningful for volunteers.
“Our research shows that Junior Achievement alumni are more likely to finish high school and complete college because of their JA experience,” said Flora Teo, President of Junior Achievement of Alaska, Inc. “The same research also shows that one-in-five JA alumni end up working in the same field as their JA volunteer, so the volunteers have a tremendous impact on students.”
JA offers programs in grades K through 12 in fifty-five Alaskan communities statewide. Volunteers are provided a thirty-minute orientation on how to deliver the programs. Program materials are hands-on, engaging, and simple to use. Often visits can be arranged at schools near a volunteer’s home or place of work and in some cases a volunteer may be able to participate at their own child’s school.
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.