In the Spotlight: Junior Achievement

 

Tuck MBA Students Teach in Local Classrooms

During the spring of 2010, MBA students from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth volunteered their time and expertise to Upper Valley elementary and middle school students through the Junior Achievement (JA) program. Both first and second year Tuck students led five or six lessons each at local schools, teaching classes about community, finance, economics and entrepreneurship.

JA is an international organization that creates a financial literacy curriculum for K-12 students to be taught by local business volunteers. The skills and knowledge JA offers, from the function of money in kindergarten to writing a personal budget in seventh grade, are fundamental, yet routinely missing from basic school curriculum. By offering JA classes to nearly 1,000 students in 14 Upper Valley schools and matching them with community volunteers, the Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership (UVBEP) is doing its part to help prepare students for the real world by supplementing everyday classroom studies.

The lessons are engaging, suitable for each grade level, and students of all ages are enthusiastic about the classes. According to a volunteer from a fifth grade classroom, “[the JA program] presents complex ideas in an unintimidating fashion so that the students feel confident to learn more about the concepts in the future.” Having an MBA student from a top business school teaching the classes and sharing their knowledge with the next generation of business leaders is an added bonus. Students are thrilled to learn from them – especially because the subject matter is so “real life” and Tuck students make it even more so. With diverse backgrounds, travels and business experiences, Tuck volunteers supplement the lessons with their own stories and knowledge – bringing the sessions to life.

Teachers agree that Tuck volunteers bring something fresh to their weekly routine, presenting relevant and exciting new material. “My students gained more understanding of different businesses, careers and also what it takes to apply to a job. In addition to this they had fun with the games that were created this year,” one teacher said of the JA program.

Thanks to funding from The Claremont Savings Bank Foundation, The Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, The Little Family Foundation and Mascoma Savings Bank, and in cooperation with Junior Achievement of Northern New England, UVBEP facilitated Junior Achievement curriculum for Upper Valley students in grades K-7 during spring 2010.
To find out how you can volunteer to lead a JA class near you, please contact us.

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