Teacher's Determination Ensures Real-Life JA Experience

When Title I funding cutbacks threatened the Gillis Elementary School's annual trip to Houston's JA Biztown, a resourceful social studies teacher began looking for alternative funding. According to DeJeania Jones, senior director of Capstone Programs for Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, the teacher's efforts paid off with a $500 grant from the JA Area.

JA Biztown combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully-interactive, simulated town facility. Through daily lessons, hands-on activities, and active participation, students develop a strong understanding of the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a worldwide economy.

In her grant application letter, teacher Staci Shaver wrote of the importance of JA Biztown for her students. "Out of all of the resources I strive to utilize, Junior Achievement's JA Biztown has by far been the best. Through the provided course work, JA Biztown enabled me to excite my students about free enterprise, civics, banking, employment, responsibility and good citizenship."

Thanks to Shaver's determination, students will leave the mixed pine and hardwood forests of unincorporated Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, and will once again make the 155-mile, 2-hour drive to Houston for the one-of-a-kind JA Biztown experience.

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