Since its start in the Cumberland County school system in 2009, opportunities for students to experience Junior Achievement have increased significantly. JA’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten through 12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
In 2009, about 175 students participated in JA classroom programs at Stone Elementary School. In the 2012-2013 school year, almost 1,000 students from 11 elementary and high schools experienced JA in the classroom or at Biztown. The costs of these programs are paid through donations and grants in the community. More than 100 volunteers from the community will be needed to support the program in 2013-'14.
According to Rich Soenen, chair of the Youth Achievement Foundation, which organizes JA in Cumberland County, “Our goal is to grow the program into each school so that kids have the opportunity to experience four JA programs over their K-12 career. For the 2013-'14 school year we expect to be in all county schools, offering programming to more than 1,500 students.”
YAF raises the necessary funds and recruits volunteers to work with the schools in the classroom. With the support of the 3-Star funds, JA will be able to experience a significant increase in the programming over last year. According to Soenen, “With the help of these funds we’ll be able to increase the classroom programs by 500 students. We are very appreciative of the 3-Star funds and the support of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board.”
To learn more about Junior Achievement in Cumberland County go to http://cumberlandcountyyaf.wix.com/yaf#.