Talk about ending the school year with a bang! On Friday, May 29 – one week before the last day of school – nearly 1,100 students at Don Brewer and Merrill Road Elementary Schools experienced Florida Blue volunteers coming into their classrooms and taking over teaching for the entire school day.
The volunteers’ purpose? To teach Junior Achievement’s financial literacy, workforce preparation and entrepreneurship programs for “JA in a Day” to kindergarten through fifth grade. In total, 114 volunteers taught five back-to-back Junior Achievement lessons in the course of the school day – lessons that would normally take five weeks to complete!
This is no new feat for Florida Blue. The company has held the event the past two years as a way to give back to the community.
Kelly Springmann, Florida Blue internal audit, remembers last year when she returned to volunteer at the same school she taught JA in a Day the year before. The students were so excited when she walked into the class they all exclaimed, “Ms. Kelly! We’re so excited you’re back!”
Kelly taught the second grade JA Our Community program which introduces students to the roles individuals play in the community and teaches the benefits of teamwork in production. “They were all into the election, and really enjoyed making the donuts,” she said.
JA in a Day drew to a close with good-bye hugs, colorful thank you cards and creative letters from the students to the volunteers. Although the school year is over, the impact that Florida Blue made on students at Don Brewer and Merrill Road Elementary goes far beyond the final ringing of the school bell.
JA of North Florida would like to thank each and every volunteer for taking time out of their busy schedules – we cannot do what we do without people like you! Special thanks to Don Brewer Principal Jennifer Gray, Merrill Road Principal Clemijene Alexander, and Darnell Smith, Charles Joseph and Stephanie Westerman at Florida Blue for coordinating the event and ensuring a successful JA in a Day.
View more photos from the day on JA of North Florida’s Facebook page.
To learn more about JA in a Day and volunteering with Junior Achievement, please click here to visit our website.