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MGMS fifth graders receive a taste of adulthood through Junior Achievement

Mar 23, 2023 09:54AM ● By Verlene Johnson

Cooper Olsen, Malan Wallace, Bella Terry

Being able to act like a grown up for a day might possibly be every child's dream. Morgan Middle School and Mountain Green Middle School fifth grade teachers help this become a reality through Junior Achievement. 

Teachers instruct mini lessons on finances such as balancing a checkbook, basic financial needs and how money circulates through their community. Then it is time for the students to learn about being an entrepreneur and having a career. Every student applies for a job, is interviewed by parents, then teachers assign a job for each student. All this in preparation to attend JA City, formerly known as JA BizTown located in the Gateway in Salt Lake City. In addition, a mayoral election is held where a student is elected to a simulated town for the day. 

Mountain Green Middle School fifth graders had the opportunity to embark on this JA adventure Wednesday, March 8.

As students, teachers and plenty of parent volunteers enter JA City, the feeling of walking into a small town with over 20 miniature storefronts was exciting to all. After receiving training for their specific jobs, students gather at the town square where the mayor, Parker Taylor, who was elected by his peers, was sworn into office and gave a welcome speech. Additionally, the CEOs of each company that is represented gives a speech to tell students why they should visit their business. Most businesses had fun things for students to buy such as earbuds, blow up toys and treats.

Students were paid twice, first with a written check that they deposited into a bank account with a student teller. The second time they are paid, it is an electronic deposit that goes onto a debit card. They were able to use that money to visit other businesses to purchase items. 

CFOs learned to make out checks and pay bills to different companies, managers learned how to successfully be a team and work with their employees. From tellers at banks to news reporters to fast food restaurants, retail stores and even teachers, students had a glimpse of what being an adult could be like. Mayor Taylor said, “JA Biztown was amazing. It was the best field trip I have ever been on. I loved seeing all the businesses, and seeing how they work. I loved being able to be mayor.”

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