‘JA in a Day’ program gets down to business

Staff report


Twenty-eight Huntington Bank associates presented Junior Achievement curriculum to more than 440 Harding Elementary School students in the Youngstown School District.

The one-day event earlier this month provided educational programming on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness.

This is the third time Huntington Bank used the “JA in a Day” one-day format.

Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, explained “JA in a Day” is a special Junior Achievement delivery method that facilitates the partnership of an elementary school with a business. As with all JA programs, volunteers involved in “JA in a Day” help to educate and inspire young people about the economics of life.

“JA in a Day” is different from other JA programs, only in that the entire JA elementary-school program is covered in the course of one day in the classroom.

At the end of the school day, the students completed all five JA lessons and earned their JA certificate. Normally, this process would take five to six weeks to complete. Classes can be conducted at any grade level, kindergarten to twelfth grade.

“It’s really great because all of our kids will get it,” said Patricia Scalzo, Harding guidance counselor. “We feel very fortunate, and we’re glad to have this opportunity. We are very thankful to have Huntington Bank adopt our school.

“The students hear us all the time,” she said. “It’s really good for kids to hear from people outside the school system as they teach the same things we’re trying to get them to understand, like the importance of getting a good education.”

Frank Hierro, regional president of Huntington, said that as part of the bank’s operating model, they try to be good corporate citizens in the communities in which they do business.

“Part of that is giving back to the community,” he said. “Junior Achievement gives us an opportunity to go into the school and the classrooms to give students an early insight into how business works.”

Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their future economic success and has a goal of presenting its financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness programs to more than 10,000 students in Mahoning, Trumbull, Ashtabula and Columbiana counties during the 2012-13 school year.

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