Florida Blue volunteers teach JA to 1,500 students

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Florida Blue volunteers and senior executives headed into the classrooms to teach Junior Achievement lessons to students in Kindergarten through fifth grade at Don Brewer, Fort Caroline and Merrill Road Elementary schools on Thursday, May 29.

During “JA in a Day” volunteers teach an entire Junior Achievement program consisting of five lessons throughout the course of one school day, a process that normally takes five weeks to complete. Due to its number of volunteers Florida Blue took over three elementary schools for the day with JA programs. “[Volunteering is] so much fun,” said Vickie Olsen, Account Manager, Florida Blue, who taught a fourth grade class. “I think I learn just as much from the kids as they do from me.”

As a result nearly 1,500 students learned about the importance of financial responsibility. Of special significance this year was the JA Girl$ and JA Boy$ gender-specific classrooms taught to the second through fifth-grade students at Fort Caroline Elementary.

Prior to Thursday volunteers underwent training by JA program staff. They were given program “kits” that contain all materials necessary to teach the five lessons and received tips for delivering the materials.

“Florida Blue volunteers were enthusiastic and engaging with the students” said Tiffany Mackey, VP of Programs, Junior Achievement. “We are thrilled about the impact JA and Florida Blue made within the Arlington community on Thursday.”

Junior Achievement’s programs are instrumental in teaching children of all ages the basics of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. For example, students in the second-grade learned about “Our Community” and saw how money moves through communities creating jobs and funding civic services. Fifth-grade students studied “Our Nation” and learned about economic concepts such as supply and demand.

“Florida Blue is honored to support the outstanding financial literacy programs of Junior Achievement,” said Bob Wall, Vice President of Business Development and Finance for GuideWell Health, Inc. and incoming Vice-Chairman of Junior Achievement. “Our mission at Florida Blue is to help people and communities achieve better health and we know there is a strong link between financial literacy and health and wellness. Having taught for the day, our Florida Blue volunteers truly appreciate the incredible job Duval County teachers do day in and day out.”

“The biggest and most important thing is the community aspect,” said Jennifer Gray, Principal, Merrill Road Elementary. “It is a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with people outside the classroom.”

View photos from the day on our Facebook page.

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