Junior Achievement program teaches elementary students financial skills

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Besides their ABCs, addition and subtraction, students at Tanglewood Elementary School are learning financial skills.
Students from kindergarten to third grade go through a six-week Junior Achievement (JA) program. The topics range from learning the difference between needs and wants, how money moves through a community and how to make deposits and withdrawals from a bank account.
Students wait after school in carpool line outside of Tanglewood Elementary School.

Junior Achievement, which started in Tarrant County in 1956, began as an after-school program to teach students how to create and operate a business. It has grown to over 150 sponsoring companies that serve approximately 30,000 students annually, according to their website.
“Junior Achievement offers activity-based, interactive instruction that focuses on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, as well as work and college readiness,” said Priscilla Miller, education manager of Junior Achievement of The Chisholm Trail, Inc. “Local volunteers bring business relevancy to the classroom and reinforce the value of education.”
“What makes this program unique is our local volunteers who share their real-world experiences with the students,” Miller said.
Amy McCullough has volunteered with JA for the past two years. She is an employment manager for First Command Financial Services and said she loves working directly with the children.
“This year, we are going to be reading from a book and learning all about working on a farm, trading, money and planting a garden,” McCullough said. “It is so much fun to have interaction and to be part of their education.”
Tanglewood Principal Connie Smith said she likes the program because it meets the state standards, the kids really enjoy it and the teachers believe it’s a solid program.
“I enjoy the time that I am afforded to be able to volunteer and give back to my community,” McCullouch said. “It is fulfilling to make a difference in a child’s life, even if very small.”
Williams Trew at Tanglewood (courtesy of Junior Achievement)
Williams Trew at Tanglewood (courtesy of Junior Achievement)