RANDOM LAKE — Debbie Poull’s seventh grade math students from Random Lake Middle School participated in the Junior Achievement program again this school year.
Once a week, students were visited by Richard Sternhagen, Director of Sales Planning-Consumer Products Division at Sargento Foods as part of the JA Economics for Success program. Sternhagen volunteered his time to share lessons, his work experiences and the JA curriculum with students with a hands-on approach.
Students spent the sessions with Sternhagen creating an interest and skill inventory and used this to explore possible paths in the workforce, armed forces, and 2 or 4 year colleges. Students used this information to play a game called ‘Be a Success’ and look at the possible consequences of their goals and choices.
“I think (this activity) gave them an idea of what direction they might want to go in, what kind of things they need to be thinking about to achieve goals, and how important money planning can be,” explained Poull.
The hands-on approach allowed students to gain insight from Sternhagen’s own experiences with the hope to inspire students to believe in themselves, their future, and making a difference in their community. Another portion of the program explains the importance of spending within a budget, saving, investing, credit scores, interest rates and using credit cautiously.
“This portion worked well my 7th grade math standards of solving multi-step percent problems involving interest, tax, markups, markdowns, gratuities, commissions, and fees,” describes Poull. “I think the students really enjoyed learning about these things and I plan to use some of the activities and games as we move into a unit involving percentages, money, checkbook balancing and using them in real world situations.”
Poull’s class received the JA program through a grant and was paired up with Sternhagen. Random Lake Middle School provides many opportunities to help their students plan for their futures. This includes a required career readiness class, a technology course, a variety of interest based extracurriculars, and now Junior Achievement.
For more information on the Junior Achievement Organization, please visit www.juniorachievement.org.