After a two day drive from Atlanta, we arrived early last week to our former home town of York, PA for a visit with our daughter, various friends, and various doctors. We stay just a few miles from Jessica at a small park that is nicely located, has full utilities, but not much else. We plan to stay until the end of May when we head west for an extended trip around the country.
Soon after our arrival we spent a day volunteering with a Junior Achievement activity. Junior Achievement is a national non-profit organization that provides programs that help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. The local York, PA center has a program called Biz Town, a realistic town with 13 “businesses” that are run by students during a five hour simulation. Our daughter, Jessica, teaches sixth grade and asked us to help with the program when they were short on chaperons. After a training session the previous evening, we spent a day supervising the activities in “City Hall”.
Each business has a variety of management positions that are assigned to students before they arrive. There is a meeting in the town square to begin the day where each CEO makes a welcome speech. Then, the work sessions begin. Each business has to get a start up loan from the bank, set up a payroll and print/distribute checks to employees, pay taxes (by check) and collect fees or make sales. The Lab Works below make a product (some sort of slime in a plastic bag) that the other students can purchase with their pay by writing a check, using a debit card, or using cash.
Distribution and Delivery run the mail service. All bill payments are put in the box outside that area and are then delivered to the appropriate business.
The construction company assembled an Adirondack chair that is given to the school.
We had a great time with this activity. The students were well-behaved and very focused on their assignments. But this little taste of the education world made us appreciate the retirement world. It’s difficult to believe that we did this type of thing every day for so many years! And they begin so early in the morning leaving no time to read the paper, watch the Today Show, and go to Starbucks! Wow ! ! !