COM Partners with Junior Achievement To Educate Children

Posted on: August 24, 2011

PHOTO: College of the Mainland employee Cheryl Odom explains the how money moves around town to students during the Junior Achievement lesson plan at Northside Elementary School in May.
 

College of the Mainland has teamed up with Junior Achievement of Texas to educate school children on free enterprise, business and economics. This past spring semester, six COM staff members spent an hour a week for five weeks teaching students at Northside Elementary School in Texas City.

Cheryl Odom, field coordinator for College of the Mainland’s Partners in Alternative Certification for Teachers (COMPACT), visited the students of Ms. Strawn’s Second grade class. The students explored the interdependent roles of workers in a community, the work they perform and how communities work. One week they learned about production by running a donut shop. “They had a lot of fun learning about an assembly line and loved the real donuts I brought them,” said Odom. Another week they learned about the process of starting a new business. The last week students learned about money and how it moves around the community. Students followed a quarter from business to business on a map as a catchy tune played in the background. The students seemed to enjoy learning how money moves around town as they all were moving to the beat of the song.

COM began its partnership with Junior Achievement last fall but wasn’t able to begin teaching until the spring. “COM staff members that were involved with Junior Achievement had a great time with the students and are looking forward to more involvement this fall,” said Bruce Glover, COM Business and Computer Technologies faculty member and head of the COM Junior Achievement volunteers. Glover explained that this program is a great way to help educate students about their community. “The program teaches students to be proud of themselves, become good citizens, better workers and to provide for their family,” said Glover.

Glover is on the Junior Achievement of Texas City Board of Directors along with other employees from area businesses like BP, Marathon and Dow. These companies provide volunteers from their organizations to teach students the curriculum. Junior Achievement provides programs to local kindergarten through high school students by requesting volunteers from area businesses. Junior Achievement provides the lesson plans, materials and has contacts at area schools for volunteer placement. “Junior Achievement has done all the work in setting up the contacts and providing the materials. We just provide the volunteers to go out and teach the students,” said Glover.

Junior Achievement is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers, all working together to inspire young people to dream big and reach their potential. Junior Achievement’s hands-on, experiential programs teach the key concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to young people all over the world.

This fall, COM is looking for more Junior Achievement volunteers. Anyone in the community who is interested in teaching students about their community is welcome. For more information about COM’s involvement with Junior Achievement or to become involved, contact Bruce Glover at 409-933-8552.


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