It’s never too early for children to begin understanding the real-life concepts of business and economy. Jeremy Wenzel, a Wauseon businessman, agrees and has spearheaded the introduction of the Junior Achievement program to the Wauseon Schools. The Junior Achievement non-profit program is a volunteer-delivered program with grade-specific curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. The premise of the program is to provide students with skills and knowledge about the financial, business, and economic world. According to the Junior Achievement official website, the organization impacted over 4.4 million U.S. students in more than 190,000 classrooms during the 2012-2013 school year.
Wenzel first approached Troy Armstrong, principal of the Wauseon Primary School, grades kindergarten through second, last school year. Wenzel states that both his children attend Wauseon School, and as a businessman and former Junior Achievement alumni, he felt that Wauseon students would benefit from the program. “It corresponds to what I do in my job and prepares kids for the future. I knew Wauseon did not have a Junior Achievement program, so I researched what it would take to start one, and it was implemented this year,” Wenzel shared.
With the support of Armstrong who agreed with the value of the Junior Achievement program, the curriculum was implemented in the Wauseon Schools beginning with grades kindergarten through second grade this school year. The curriculum is designed to be taught as five lessons. Wenzel himself has been using the curriculum to teach second graders and says the lessons have taken approximately 45 minutes to teach. “The response from both teachers and students has been very positive,” he relates.
Presently, the Junior Achievement (JA) program of Wauseon is seeking more volunteers. Anyone from the community is able to volunteer. Training is required but can be conducted via a phone training of between 30-40 minutes. Four more classes, all kindergarten, are in need of volunteers to teach the JA curriculum which consists primarily of reading to the children. All five lessons can be completed in approximately two-three hours.
For more information about the Junior Achievement program in general, you can visit the organizational website at www.juniorachievement.org or you can visit the Facebook page Junior Achievement of Wauseon. To volunteer, you may contact Jeremy Wenzel at 419-708-8625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are also being sought for the upcoming school year. The plan is to expand the JA program into the elementary classes and to continue growing the program each consecutive school year.