Junior Achievement of Oklahoma opened the JA BizTown facility in the spring of 2003. During that spring semester 2,517 fifth grade students participated in the JA BizTown Program. The students represented six school districts in urban, suburban, and rural communities within eastern Oklahoma. During the 2009/2010 school year, over 10,000 students representing over 100 schools experienced JA’s experiential learning program. In addition to the students approximately 2,000 business volunteer and teachers participate in the program annually.
Recent survey findings indicate that high school students found the JA BizTown Program experience to be memorable, relevant, and effective in developing the skills necessary for both school and work. (See attached)
More than 7 out of 10 students (72%) agreed or strongly agreed that JA BizTown connected what they learned to the classroom to real life.
Seven out of 10 students (70%) agreed or strongly agreed that JA BizTown helped them realize the importance of staying in school.
“This experience (JA BizTown) has helped me in numerous ways, many mentioned in the survey. But it also made me realize what JA does for students, especially now that I am in a local JA Company; an even better experience.” Oklahoma High School Student
The JA BizTown experience begins in the classroom with a teacher, using a four-week, in-class curriculum that encompasses financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship – “The Economics of Life.” JA BizTown combines the in-class learning with a day-long visit to the JA facility where the 5,500 square foot JA BizTown is housed. This is a fully interactive, simulated town experience where students learn the fundamental relationship between academics and life beyond school. During their visit, students practice the rights and responsibilities of JA BizTown citizenship as they become the workers, consumers, entrepreneurs and leaders of their own student community.