Northwestern Mutual teams up with JA at San Jose Elementary

Northwestern Mutual employees taught lessons as part of Junior Achievement’s JA Day at San Jose Elementary on May 15. Volunteers taught eager third graders JA’s “Our Community” program. Students learned how communities work using hands-on activities that accompanied a giant map of a typical community.

Sanita Rekic, Katrina Caval, and Cory McKibben are ready to teach!

Sanita Rekic, Katrina Caval, and Cory McKibben are ready to teach!

The student population at San Jose is about 44% ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Principal Kristie Kemp believes the JA lessons help these children see that they are an integral part of the community and helps them understand how their school plays a role. “To have businessmen and women come in, it gives them a great perspective of what our community is about, how our community and schools work together,” Kristie exclaimed. “The kids are very excited when they come.”

One Northwestern Mutual volunteer, Sanita Rekic, Sales Executive Team Coordinator, attended San Jose Elementary as a child when she moved to Florida from Bosnia. She wanted to get involved again with the school and thought JA was the perfect opportunity. Sanita remarked, “It’s something fun to do for the kids and a way to teach them about what we do.”

The volunteers from Northwestern Mutual are important to carrying out Junior Achievement’s mission of inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. These people bring the realities of work into the classroom and allow students to get a glimpse of what they could grow up to be.

Bill Koch, Managing Partner at Northwestern Mutual, currently serves on JA’s Board of Directors and is a former Board Chairman. His passion for JA and helping young people succeed is evident in his involvement through the years. “We think financial literacy is key,” Koch stated. “We’re in the financial services industry and helping students understand that what they’re learning now applies to the real world is very important.”

Bill Koch, JA Board Member and JA Volunteer prepares for his "JA in a Day" lessons.

Bill Koch, JA Board Member and JA Volunteer prepares for his “JA in a Day” lessons.

Students built a city of their own as they learned about the different roles in a community.

Students built a city of their own as they learned about the different roles in a community.

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Eric Zegle teaches third graders JA’s “Our City” program.

About JA Days
JA in a Day is a special Junior Achievement delivery method that facilitates the partnership between a business and a school. During JA in a Day, the JA school program is accelerated to be covered in the course of one day during the school week. At the end of the school day, the students will have completed all five JA lessons and will have earned their JA certificate. Normally, this process would take five weeks to complete.

About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement of North Florida has been operating in Jacksonville since 1963 and during the 2011-2012 school year reached 27,883 students through in-school partnerships with educators.

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