Friday, 27 March 2015

Economy class--JA Bizztown

Since September the kids have been taking a class at a local coop called JA Bizztown economy class. They have been learning about businesses,how the economy works, and introducing money management and job skills to the kids.  I was very impressed with this program so if there is one near you check it out!!

The kids have been working thru this workbook that was provided by the teacher.  I understand there is also  another version for older teens as well as a older version of Bizztown
The kids were issued a checkbook, voter registration card and a debit card to use while at JA Bizztown.  Kids were responsible for keeping track how much money they spent and how much they earned.  There were a few kids who found out rather quickly that they had run out of money!

The facility is amazing!

There were 18 business in the facility and each child was given a job to do to help run the business for the day.  

MarioFan was assigned the job Savings Officer at the bank

While Firedrake was a engineer at the Ameren facility

Once we arrived the kids had a town meeting to go over the rules, and the jobs and how the day would proceed.  I admit it was all a bit overwhelming but once things got started it was surprising how well run the business were and how well all the kids did their jobs!
Other facilities available for the kids to work were Build A Bear, City hall, radio station, tv station, Children's hospital, MasterCard, St. Louis Rams, Warehouse, smokehouse market and many more!

after the town meeting the kids went to their jobs and had about 20 minutes to orient themselves to their job before the town opened.  MarioFan reading his job description manual!

I was able to catch a quick glance of Firedrake at her job!

All the children were so intent on learning their job!  There were many volunteers to help with questions and to make sure things went smoothly for all the participates.  After the day was over I was exhausted!

The radio station even had a play list that the kids could call in song request throughout the day.  MarioFan asked for Ghostbusters and Hey There Delilah:)  He wanted to ask for more but he was so busy he ran out of time!

MarioFan hard at work entering names and opening savings account 

Each child earned a 2 paychecks for their work which they could spend at the other business on their 2 scheduled breaks! 

They had a voting booth

MarioFan using a debit card for the first time to purchase a toy at Masstercard

I caught a quick glance at a training session Firedrake was doing for her job learning about coal/energy production!
Another one of her jobs was to change filters at each job location

Kids were given a mid morning break in rotation and a afternoon break for lunch. The kids could buy cookies, popcorn or a small soda or water bottle with their Bizztrown money!

Catching some other kids doing their jobs!

Paying and playing a game at the St Louis Rams business 

I loved that JA Bizztown included philanthropy endeavors.  Here MarioFan is using his own money to buy a Build a Bear to donate to Children's hospital!

One of MarioFan's job was to give an online TV interview about how to recognize counterfeit money!

A script was provided for him and he had to read it of a television prompter.  He did an amazing job.  Firedrake also had to do a TV interview but I missed it:(

The TV shows and interviews were show throughout the building on TV.

At the closing of the day another town hall was done where each business provided a report to let the citizen know if there business had made any money.  Today all business reported a profit!

MarioFan gave a short speech on the importance of having a saving account.  

This was such a fabulous learning experience for the kids, my only complaint is I wish the kids could have stayed a bit longer or it could be several days long so they could try out different job.  This can be solved by having the kids participate next year which they want to do!

For the rest of the year the kids will go back to the coop to develop a business plan of their own and implement within the coop and see if they can make a little money which will be donated to the local food bank!


  1. Oh my gosh this is all so awesome. It is just amazing what you are able to find to help with your children's education. This was such a great activity and I am sure they learned a lot. I enjoyed the pictures and explanations. I have missed your adventures but I am back reading them again. I loved this one!