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Junior Achievement reaches 1,200 kids in District 206

Adam Rupp, who works for Alexandria Industries, served as a Junior Achievement volunteer to share his real-world experiences with District 206 students. (Contributed photo)1 / 2
Melissa Olson, who works for Innovative Builders in Alexandria, volunteered her time with District 206 students through the Junior Achievement program. The program was shared with 1,200 elementary students in the district this year with the help of 51 classroom volunteers. (Contributed photo)2 / 2

About 1,200 elementary students and 51 classroom volunteer leaders in District 206 have experienced the opportunity of Junior Achievement (JA) this school year.

JA started in District 206 classrooms in 1995 and is the world's largest non-profit economic education organization. Its mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy.

Using age appropriate curricula and hands-on activities, the adult volunteer classroom leaders share their real world experiences and teach students about their role as individuals, workers and consumers to help them understand the business of life.

JA empowers students to make a connection between what they learn in school and demonstrates how education is relevant to the workplace. It teaches students grades K-12 about business, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness skills.

Depending on the age of the students, volunteers make between five to seven visits to the classroom, with each visit lasting between 30 and 55 minutes.

One of the volunteer leaders said, "The Junior Achievement experience was a very enjoyable one for me. The students seemed very eager to learn and participate and that really made it a lot of fun."

A teacher praised the volunteer: "The leader did a tremendous job incorporating real life situations into our curriculum. He went above and beyond to teach the kids about city zones, newspapers, restaurants, etc. and truly put his heart into helping the kids learn."

JA is made possible through the donations of local businesses and organizations. These donors find JA to be relevant because it inspires kids to succeed and prepares them to be work ready.

The local JA program has the capability of expansion pending additional volunteer and business sponsorship support.

For more information, to be matched with a classroom as a volunteer leader or to make a donation to JA for the next school year, contact Tim Asche at (320) 760-9470 or or Ruth Turner at (320) 762-5387 or rturner@