Junior Achievement Helps Teachers and Students

Junior Achievement Helps Teachers and Students With Digital Content for Virtual Classes
Posted on 04/24/2020
Students virtual group

Junior Achievement (JA) of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast is helping teachers and students provide education in virtual classrooms. In the first weeks of school closures, it provided more than 50 digital lessons and activities, and the list of content and number of students served continues to grow.

“We are now serving more than 7,000 students with digital content,” said Claudia Kirk Barto, president of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast. “Many of our in-class programs that we offer are now virtual lessons. We are fortunate to have a staff that has years of experience in distance learning, producing digital content, and meeting student needs based on Florida’s education standards.”

Content is being produced to meet the needs of students from all demographics. For instance, a Career Speaker Series which offers videos of professionals talking about their careers, will have some professionals speaking in Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian-Creole, in addition to English. Other examples of JA lessons include:

• What is Free Enterprise?
• Self Knowledge Treasure Hunt
• TED Talk: Women Entrepreneurs, Example Not Exception
• Assembling Your Career
• Economics for Success
• Practical Money Skills
• Your Idea is a Hit! Now What?

The School District of Palm Beach County has its own JA digital classrooms. Teachers go to their Google Classroom and enter specific codes for each grade level. After doing so, they can choose from dozens of lessons, videos, interactive content, and activities.

"JA is in the K-12 school content-making business but our model was to deliver lessons in the actual classroom," Barto said. "We quickly evaluated what we offered and built the infrastructure, learned new tools to convert and make new digital content, and our staff started producing and organizing the content for easy use. Teachers and school administrators saw the value immediately and now are asking for more.”

Junior Achievement USA and the 107 JA areas around the country have teamed up to produce additional content and lessons for schools to use for free. That content is also being shared by JA of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast, with thousands of available digital lessons and activities.

“This free online content from JA is available now and we hope that schools add it to their already great content in this new world of virtual classrooms,” Barto said. “Fortunately, most of our existing funding organizations are being flexible as we pivot from in-classroom to virtual classrooms.”

Barto went on to point out that the COVID-19 crisis is putting pressure on finances for non-profit organizations.

“It’s our hope that donors see the tremendous value we are providing to the schools, teachers, and students and that the donors provide the additional support we need to help us make this new content and get through this crisis together.”

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