var str = BizTown is Back!|St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School

BizTown is Back!

BizTown is Back!

On April 11, our SAA and SDS 5th grade students participated in Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown for the first time since 2019.

17 Apr, 2024

On April 11, our SAA and SDS 5th grade students stepped out of the classroom and into the "real world" as they participated in Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown for the first time since 2019.  BizTown combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a simulated town located in the JA building on Madison Avenue here in Memphis.

BizTown is an immersive learning experience, designed to help students understand the value of different roles in the community-as citizens, workers, and consumers. As Biztown participants, they do everything from operating banks to managing restaurants, and voting for town mayor.

SDS 5th grade Social Studies teacher Jacob Reeves shared, “SAA-SDS has not participated in BizTown since before COVID. We always had a great time there and were excited to return. It's such a well-run program, and a very enriching experience for the students. Students get to learn so much about financial literacy, running a business, and how an economy works.”

There was a great deal of in-class work to be done leading up to the simulation day. SAA 5th grade Social Studies teacher Marissa House explained, “We did prep work for over 8 weeks prior to the field trip. Through daily lessons, hands-on activities, and active participation in the simulated community, students were encouraged to use critical-thinking skills as they learned about key economic concepts. Through all this work they developed a strong understanding of the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a local economy.”

SDS student Gardner Arbogast was elected Mayor of BizTown. When asked why he thought he would be a good mayor he said, “I am organized and good at making fast decisions, and I think I’m great with money.” As the mayor he had many responsibilities on the actual simulation day. Gardner explained, “I had to prepare and give two town hall speeches, give business loans and do other things in the community.” When asked his favorite part of the day was, he said ‘Everything! I loved BizTown.”

Emma Quertermous from SAA grade 5 earned the role of CEO of Smith & Nephew. She said, “I wanted to be a CEO because I thought I could be a good leader. I am okay with public speaking, so I did not mind giving speeches.” Emma was surprised by the number of “problems” she had to deal with the day of BizTown. “I had to get health cards for my employees, get a loan from the bank, and pay all the bills.” Her favorite thing about BizTown was working with classmates in her business. “I really like everyone I worked with that day! There were six other “employees” with me. The break times were also fun because we got a chance to visit the other businesses and offices to see how things were going.”

We are excited to have this valuable program make a return! The JA BizTown program supports the values of leadership, teamwork, and responsible citizenship we instill in our students, with attention to the soft skills that lead to success in the workplace.

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