Hawthorne Students at JA Biztown
This was the third consecutive year Hawthorne fifth and sixth-grade students participated in JA Biztown. After several weeks of planning and organizing, the students were responsible for all of the activities in JA City for a day.
Prior to the activity, they prepared their business plan, filled out documents for their business loan, prepared a marketing plan and advertisements, and developed a budget to pay all of their employees. Their focus was to run their “business” for the day. They applied for a business loan from the local bank and worked hard to earn the money to repay the loan. They worked in a variety of businesses including a power company, a supply and grocery store, a sports franchise, a school district, a university, a non-profit, a television station, a furniture store, an automotive store, an airline, a convenience store, and two banks. Students earned two pay checks during the day. They were able to purchase items with cash, checks, and debit cards.
Many students learned quickly that demands of the business sometimes precluded them from taking assigned breaks. Students elected a mayor who was responsible for all of the workings of the city for the day. The CEO of each business gave a speech to the city outlining the goals and objectives of their businesses. At the end of the experience, one student reflected, “I didn’t know working all day was so tiring.”
Author: Marilyn Taft, Hawthorne Elementary