The McGrath Family JA BizTown is a 10,000 sq. foot mini-city in which kids discover how the "real world" works. Each day, about 150 5th graders become JA BizTown "citizens," where they work in one of 21 businesses, make personal financial decisions as well as for their business, hold business meetings, pay taxes and donate to charity.
After four weeks of curriculum and preparation in the classroom, where our class learned how to be a citizen, how an economy works, how to apply for a job, and run a successful business, we visited the JA BizTown facility for a 4.5 hr simulated work day experience. Each student (citizen) had a job for the day, participated in business and town meetings, got paid twice, managed a checking account, purchased retail items to take home, got a health check-up, and much more!
This interactive, project-based program not only taught our class how to manage their own personal finances and the importance of becoming a successful professional within the community, but it also empowers them to take responsibility for their professional and educational futures!