TAUNTON – Superintendent John Cabral is pleased to share highlights from the first year of Taunton Public Schools’ partnership with Junior Achievement to expand financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship education, sponsored by Bristol County Savings Bank.
Over the course of three years, the partnership intends to advance financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurial skills across Taunton Public Schools through innovative learning activities and community engagement.
In the partnership’s first year, Junior Achievement worked with approximately 630 students throughout 30 Junior Achievement classroom programs that were implemented across the district. The Junior Achievement classroom programs teach core financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship skills by leveraging proven curriculum and the support and expertise of community volunteers. Through these programs, students increase their understanding of businesses, budgeting, economics and more.
“All of us at JA could not be more grateful to work in collaboration with Taunton Public Schools and Bristol County Savings Bank,” said JA President Jeffrey Pelletier. “Year One has been immensely successful, and I look forward to continuing our work in Year Two. I would like to thank Superintendent Cabral for his leadership and vision on this effort, as well as everyone at JA and BCSB for their dedication to these issues in the community and all the work we’ve done together so far.”
In addition to their classroom programs, Junior Achievement worked to empower students to solve a problem in their community by forming and managing their own companies under the mentorship of business professionals and community volunteers. This year, two student companies were launched through the JA Company Program, one at Taunton High School and one at Taunton Alternative High School.
Lanyards For You, which is based out of Taunton High School, is a new student company that creates custom and embroidered lanyards for their peers and the general public to enjoy. Lanyards For You went on to win first place at the Inaugural JA Company of the Year Event at UMass Dartmouth in April.
Live Lucky 5, based out of Taunton Alternative High School, is a new student production company that pairs custom tie dye and embroidered t-shirts with an inspiring message that “if you don’t give up, you’ll get through,” helping their customers both look and feel good.
Throughout the process of building their company, students collaborated together, made crucial business decisions, communicated with multiple stakeholders, and developed entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.
JA also developed engaging activities designed for elementary school students to build foundational financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship skills. Through this initiative, 11 Taunton High School students served as High School Heroes to first-grade students at the Elizabeth Pole Elementary School in the spring. During this time, the High School Heroes worked in small teams to assemble classroom materials, prepare lesson plans, and deliver the program in a day-long ‘Junior Achievement in a Day’ event.
As part of this elementary school programming, many of the first-grade teachers remarked on how wonderful the high schoolers were, with a few noting that they didn’t need any help or support and could’ve run the classroom all day on their own with no problem.
“The effect this partnership has had on the student body has been extremely positive and impactful,” Superintendent Cabral said. “The accomplishments we’ve made in Year One are thanks to the collaborative work from everyone at JA, Bristol County Savings Bank and the community. I look forward to continuing to set up our students for success and fostering their growth in the coming years.”
Taunton Public Schools wishes to thank Bristol County Savings Bank, the partnership’s Exclusive Title Sponsor, for its support. The Bank’s commitment to the program totals $45,000, which is annually awarded in the amount of $15,000 over three years.
“If Year One is any indication, this innovative partnership is on its way to far exceeding all expectations,” said Patrick Murray, President & CEO of Bristol County Savings Bank and President of the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation. “The program’s focus on real life learning and community engagement will continue to positively impact hundreds of students in elementary through high school each year and better prepare them for a successful future.”
About Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts
Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts is a regional non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy. JA focuses on high-impact learning experiences for K-12 students across the key content areas of financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship that drive long-term outcomes in education development, economic development, and youth development. JA’s learning experiences are always free and are implemented in-school, virtually, and out-of-school thanks to the support of volunteers and partners. Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts is the local affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, the nation’s oldest and largest economic education organization with over 100 years of experience. To learn more about the organization, click here.