5th Graders - JA BizTown 2019

Star Center 5th Graders Run a City Thanks to JA BizTown
Posted on 03/05/2019
Star Center 5th Graders Run a City Thanks to JA BizTown

Star Center 5th graders had the opportunity to run a city thanks to JA BizTown held Wednesday, February 27th in Milwaukee. At BizTown, students operate a bank, restaurant, city hall, newspaper, retail store and 10 other businesses.  JA BizTown combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully interactive, simulated town. Students leave understanding the relationship between what they learn in school and their participation in a local economy. 

The Star Center students were prepped for JA BizTown by their teachers who presented lessons focusing on checking/savings accounts, how to write a check and fill out a check register, how an economy works, applying for a job (the students actually did an interview with Badger High School FCCLA members), writing friendly letters, and more, according to Elizabeth Bart, one of the 5th grade teachers at Star Center. “In order for the students to know what to expect and do during the simulation, the lessons were a necessity,” she said.

Once at JA BizTown, students assumed roles to make the community run. Students learned what it is like to be part of a simulated, local economy by working in teams to complete jobs which varied depending on their position and business. Students from Star Center were paired with students from Lowell Elementary in Waukesha for the experience.

At JA BizTown, students learn about:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Goods and services
  • Resources
  • Producers and consumers
  • Scarcity
  • Supply and demand
  • Opportunity costs
  • Taxes
  • Spending and saving
  • Financial institutions and banking concepts
  • Write a resume
  • Apply for jobs
  • Produce goods and services
  • Spend money
  • Become part of a business team and create a business plan

“Students walked away with a real-life experience,” said Bart. “They enjoyed having independence, spending money they earned, and interacting with other students in their mini town.” As a fifth grade team, the teachers involved feel this is a valuable and memorable hands on experience. “We look forward to continuing our work with JA BizTown,” Bart said. 

The funding for the day came from a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Financial Literacy Grant written by Deanna Giovingo, FCCLA Adviser.  The Lake Geneva Badger FCCLA members were the volunteers that worked with the nine businesses that Star Center ran during the simulation. The chapter members were facilitators, they helped provide guidance to the 5th graders as they ran BizTown.

JA BizTown
Star Center 5
th grader Chance Ruby (center with paper in his hand) was the CEO Johnson Controls in BizTown. He gave a speech about what the company offers. 

JA BizTown 
Star Center 5th graders Travis Warren and Gabi Sandfer worked for BizTown’s U.S.Bank. They completed tasks for their jobs at the bank under the supervision of Badger FCCLA member Ricardo Sanchez.

 JA BizTown
Star Center 5th grader Keira Johnson was a FOX 6 radio employee who took song requests from the BizTown community members.

 JA BizTown

Badger FCCLA members Picture-FCCLA members: Ricardo Sanchez, Maddi Tripplet, Molly Braden, Yuliana Ovalle, Yvonne Reyes, Alison Popenhagen, Annabelle Jimenez and Jasmin Jimenez were volunteers at the recent JA BizTown event, assisting fifth graders from Star Center Elementary School with their experience.


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