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 citizens for a day in JA BizTown. 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, 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. This interactive, project-based program not only teaches students how to manage their own personal finances and the importance of becoming a successful professional within our community, but it also empowers them to take responsibility for their professional and educational futures!
Prior to visiting JA BizTown, students engage in a comprehensive classroom curriculum that teaches them how an economy works, citizen rights and responsibilities, how to get a job, how to operate a successful business, and how to manage a personal bank account. They will also fill out a job application, interview for their position, and elect a mayor.
The curriculum emphasizes the importance of ethical business practices, teamwork and making sound business decisions. Throughout the program, students also begin to recognize that career and job choices are related to personal interest, skills, knowledge and education.
There are 13 required project-based lessons that align with Common Core and Florida State Standards. They can be adapted to any subject taught within the classroom, and incorporate activities within the lessons that focus on critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, and include options to utilize technology within the classroom.
In addition to the lessons, preparations will also need to be made for the visit day at JA BizTown. The students will meet with their business groups in the classroom to calculate their business costs and loan amount, create advertisements for the newspaper, radio, and TV Station, as well as fill out deposit tickets, a savings check, and checkbook register for their personal bank accounts.
Give your students an experience that will impact their future educational and professional choices!
Imagine the fifth grade students at your school managing and operating their own city of businesses, banks, a city hall and foundation. Your students will rush to the bank to deposit their paychecks; sales clerks create merchandise displays and reporters interview local business leaders to get the most up-to-date story. Across the way the restaurant prepares for the lunch hour and the mayor meets with business managers to get an understanding of current economic trends. This is only a snapshot of what the JA BizTown program has to offer your students, the experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and that is all because teachers such as yourself commit to participating in the program and providing this unique opportunity to their students.
JA BizTown is a learning experience for 5th grade students that teaches economic concepts, workplace skills, and personal and business finances in a child-size town built just for them. Our partner educators (you!) deliver 14 lessons in the classroom before their students visit JA BizTown. The curriculum is correlated to Common Core and Florida State standards and is designed to be easily taught straight from the educator’s kit we provide. We train all teachers on the curriculum and provide the teaching materials during a one-time training.
Each lesson takes approximately an hour and the curriculum typically takes about 4-5 weeks to implement in total. Once the students receive the curriculum in their classrooms, they attend an on-site simulation, where each student will have a job within a business team, buys/sells products, receives a paycheck and manages a personal bank account.
If you would like more information in regards to how your school can be a part of this impactful experience, please contact:
Volunteer with us at JA BizTown!
Volunteers serve as our conduit between the real world and what is being taught in the classroom. They take the concepts the students learn in the classroom and show how they impact their future lives in our local and global community.
For more information on volunteering at JA BizTown, please contact:
Caleb Schillace | 813-485-9620 | Caleb.firstname.lastname@example.org
JA Biztown Volunteers
Each simulation day requires between 20-25 volunteers to assist in the visit.
We cannot run the JA BizTown simulation without volunteers to supervise and assist the students, and by volunteering, you are making it possible for our schools to participate in the program!
As a volunteer, you will be assigned to one of the businesses in JA BizTown, where you will assist the students in managing business meetings, completing their job duties for the day, and help them to stay on task and focus on their business and personal goals.
JA BizTown volunteers do not need to have specific expertise and are encouraged to share real-world experience/advice to the students as they learn what it means to be a working professional.
The total time commitment is 5 hours, which includes a 1 hr training the morning of before the students arrive, where you will receive training on how to facilitate the students’ learning in the business they’ve been assigned. We will go over what to expect and how to make the day successful for you as well as the students. During the day, you will receive a volunteer binder, with helpful checklists, FAQs, and troubleshooting tips.
If you are interested in volunteering with one of our schools for a day, or would like to volunteer on an “on-call” basis, please contact: