As the end of the first half of the school year approaches, we at Junior Achievement wanted to take some time to reflect on some of the outstanding things that have happened so far. We are honored to get to be part of such a supportive community that helps us serve over 62,000 students a year. One of our goals is to reach every student five times in their academic career; a JA “pipeline” if you will, and doing that in a variety of ways is so important.
JA Inspire is our newest program event, and it took place in October this year. More than 2,600 students and 40 local businesses and organizations participated. Everyone came together with the common goal of working toward work readiness and career exploration for 8th grade students. The Kentucky Exposition Center halls were packed with waves of students who talked and participated in hands-on activities with leaders in a variety of fields. Everything from manufacturing to healthcare, logistics, government service, skilled labor, and so much more were present. This coalition of education and industry leaders was a sight to see, and we are looking forward to bringing the experience to even more students next year.
We also started the school year with the launch of a pilot version of the classic JA program JA It’s My Future. Some of the 26 counties JA Kentuckiana serves are quite rural. In order to help make JA programs more easily accessible to all of the areas we serve, a video version of this program was created by our Hardin County Board of Directors. Teachers and classrooms are now able to access the video lessons at their convenience while still using the materials and activities that make a huge impact. JA It’s My Future is a six week learning program that offers practical information about preparing for the working world. Students explore potential careers, discover four factors to consider in choosing a career, and work to recognize basic job-hunting tools. The differences between technical and soft skills are distinguished, and they will recognize the impact that their personal behavior has on their ability to succeed in a job.
Another exciting event took place with Smyrna Elementary School this month. Because of the generosity and leadership of several Humana departments, every grade and classroom at Smyrna received JA programs this year. The weeklong event started with Kindergarten classes and every day another grade welcomed volunteers who taught JA programs. At the end of the week more than 500 students got to experience fun and impactful programs. We’re so grateful to Humana for not only serving an entire school, but for showing up by the dozen to get into classrooms.
It’s been a fantastic start to the school year, and we at Junior Achievement are anticipating an exciting new year. Thank you to all of the Teachers, Volunteers, and Donors who make what we do possible. With your help and support more Kentuckiana students than ever will receive the life changing programs that have become so well known to students.
Happy New Year!
Junior Achievement Staff