In addition to traditional school studies, area middle schoolers will soon be building a business and supporting a family. It’s all part of a new Junior Achievement center designed to teach the business and financial skills needed in the real world.
In partnership with Junior Achievement of Georgia, the Columbia County School District and Richmond County School System approved a plan to build a JA Discovery Center in the CSRA. The Center, which is projected to open in fall 2023, will be built in the CCSD’s Support Department Complex on Riverwatch Parkway in Evans. It will serve 15,000 middle school students each year.
At the Center, sixth-grade students will participate in a simulation called JA BizTown, which will show them what it’s like to run a business. Students in seventh and eighth grade will get the opportunity to experience life as adults responsible for supporting a family in a simulation called JA Finance Park.
These programs will introduce students to entrepreneurship and money management, among other topics.
“We are very excited to be able to offer our students a culminating experience that extends this area of learning to the real world through partnerships and connections with our local communities,” said Dr. Steve Flynt, Columbia County superintendent.
Junior Achievement partners with school systems and businesses to provide unique, hands-on learning opportunities for students. There are already five JA Discovery Centers in Georgia, including Atlanta, Dalton, and Savannah. These Centers serve 45 percent of Georgia’s middle schoolers.
“The opportunity to expose our students to businesses and careers that are right here in our area is remarkable,” said Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw, Richmond County School System superintendent. “Broadening their vision into what is possible will enable them to dream big and see the path to achieve those dreams.”
For more information on Junior Achievement and its Discovery Centers, visit georgia.ja.org.