JA in a Day- Economics for Success!
Posted On:
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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LUSO Federal Credit Union has sponsored the Junior Achievement Program in the Ludlow Public Schools for the last four years.  The program reaches ninety classrooms in Ludlow; totally nearly 2,000 students participating in this important program which is meant to foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills in students from kindergarten to grade 8.

On November 6th a total of thirteen volunteers, with varying backgrounds -businessmen and women, educators, college students - gathered at Baird Middle School to facilitate the first JA in a Day- Economics for Success, to all 8th grade students.

Mary Dobek, BMS Assistant Principal explained, “The traditional JA Program is taught in a series of four to six days over several weeks. Today’s format allows students to receive the information all in one day so it diminishes the issue of students not remembering previously shared information, that can arise when there is a lapse of time in between sessions.”

“This format is also more conducive to the volunteers, in terms of planning purposes,” continued Dobek.  “They only have to schedule one day, as opposed to several days, which can present  scheduling conflicts.”   

“I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to participate in JA in a Day,” shared Ludlow Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Todd Gazda at the end of his JA in a Day teaching experience. “It was fun for me to get back into the classroom to teach for a day working with some of our 8th grade students on lessons designed to get them thinking about their futures.”

“It's never too early for students to start thinking and planning their future career paths.  Financial literacy is an important life skill for all,” continued Gazda. “Junior Achievement's well designed lessons help student focus their thinking about what it takes to be financially stable while pursuing their dreams.”

Manny Pedro, Real Estate Agent with Ideal Real Estate and JA Volunteer for nine years, describes his experience with JA as being very rewarding, “I enjoy teaching the students and walking them through the whole economics of life. It is important for them to understand at an early age the tools they will need to succeed financially in life.”

This is Pedro’s first time participating in the JA in a Day format, stating, “Knocking it all out in one day versus doing it in five or six separate days seems like a better fit. You have their attention all day and don’t have to worry about picking up from the last lesson.  I think this format will be much more fluid.”

Emily Conroy is a 2017 LHS graduate and current freshman at Springfield College who volunteered last year at East Street School in the JA Program with 1st graders through the School to Career Internship Program at LHS. When asked why she was interested in being a JA volunteer for 8th graders she replied, “I thought it would be a good to have hands on experience teaching at the middle school level since I hope to be a high school or middle school math teacher. Having this opportunity seemed like a perfect fit for my career goal.”

BMS Principal, Stacy Monette echoed the sentiments of the faculty when she stated, “"I am thrilled that our middle school students were able to participate in JA in a Day.  This program meshes nicely with our school initiative this year - increasing career awareness with all of our students.”  

“It's never too early for students to learn about financial literacy and work-readiness,” continued Monette. “The students enjoyed the experience and I think the JA volunteers had some fun as well!"

LUSO Federal Credit Union and Baird Middle School would like to thank the JA in a Day volunteers for providing BMS 8th graders age appropriate curriculum activities that reinforced financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills.   If you would like to learn more about the JA Program please visit www.jawm.org.  If you are interested in volunteering to teach one of the upcoming JA classes in the Ludlow Public Schools (K-8th grade) please contact either Sharon Dufour at sdufour@lusofederal.com or Kim Anderson at kanderson@lusofederal.com.

 THANK YOU Junior Achievement Volunteers

Abigail Ames, Junior Achievement of Western MA

Megan Beliveau, Junior Achievement of Western MA

Emily Conroy, Springfield College Student

Kimberly Downing, LUSO Federal Credit Union

Dr. Todd Gazda, Ludlow Public Schools Superintendent

Peter Leonczyk, PV Financial Group

Ana Parrelli, American Red Cross

Manny Pedro, Ideal Real Estate

Attorney William Rooney, Chartier, Ogan & Brady

Nancy Russ, American Red Cross

Susan Senecal, LUSO Federal Credit Union

Paul Sticca, Aetna Insurance

Kristiana Tadeo, Community Volunteer

Junior Achievement Volunteers in Action!



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