ts bank employee poses with children holding their cert

Junior Achievement wraps up its second year in 4th grade classrooms at Schuler Elementary

February 6, 2018 | TS Bank

Atlantic, IA - Junior Achievement has just wrapped up its second year in Atlantic fourth grade classrooms. This year, six TS Bank and TS Banking Group employees volunteered their time to teach five lessons each, in their assigned classroom.

TS Bank first got involved with Junior Achievement in 2010 in the Treynor Community School District through its nonprofit arm, TS Institute. Junior Achievement is the oldest, largest, and fastest-growing nonprofit economics education program throughout the world. In partnership with TS Institute and educators, JA inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. JA reaches students in grades K-12 with fun, hands-on programs that teach students financial literacy and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make a better life for themselves. All programs align with national and local curriculum standards; therefore, educators fully enjoy the opportunity to involve their students.

For fourth-grade curriculum, the focus is “Our Region”, which is designed to develop a further understanding of regions, resources, supply chains and problem solving. Students are encouraged to think practically about starting a business, while preparing them to be entrepreneurial in their thinking to meet the requirements of a demanding and ever-changing workforce. The students learn new vocabulary words, engage in hands on activities and games and discuss local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Additionally, two Atlantic fifth grade classrooms have requested to incorporate Junior Achievement into their spring studies, so two TS Bank representatives will volunteer their time to teach those sessions.

We asked the Atlantic volunteers about their experience with Junior Achievement, and here is what they had to say:

“This was my first year teaching JA, and I cannot wait to be a part of it again next year. It was so much fun to see the students fully engaged and get excited about each week’s different lessons and activities. I even had two students ask if I was coming back next year to help them actually start their business! JA is a great program to have implemented within the Atlantic School District.” - Jessie Shiels, Digital Manager at TS Banking Group

“The absolute best part of Junior achievement is that the children learn that they too can invent something to better our world. They learn that they can open their own business someday and be successful and happy creating a product or service that they are passionate about.” – Amy Coenen, AVP of Personal Banking at TS Bank

“My favorite thing about the Junior Achievement program is being able to teach kids different aspects of starting a business. The fourth graders get so excited when they generate profits by ‘working at a hot dog stand’ and have fun developing their problem-solving skills when a vital part of their computer is no longer produced. It’s an overall great program!” – Miranda Olson, Universal Banker at TS Bank

“I really enjoy watching the information click into place for these kids after each session. The lessons are structured in such a way that there is very little “lecture” time, and much more hands-on, learn as we play time, and I think that really drives home the information. In the years I have volunteered, the kids have really embraced what they learn and find ways to apply the lessons to their own lives. It’s a very neat thing to observe from the inside.” – Jackie Raymond, Talent Development Coordinator at TS Banking Group.

“I was first introduced to the Junior Achievement program when I was a student teacher in a 4th grade classroom in Waterloo, IA. I instantly fell in love with the engaging lessons that taught so many valuable concepts to the students. I jumped at the opportunity to teach the curriculum to a 4th grade classroom in Atlantic when I was told volunteers were needed. As an alumna of the Atlantic School District, contributing to the classrooms I spent so much time in growing up is very rewarding.” – Vanessa Keenan, Recruitment Coordinator at Peters Personnel.

“I have enjoyed being able to teach Junior Achievement in Atlantic for the last two years. Contributing to the classrooms I spent so much time in growing up is very rewarding.” – Brittney Jensen, Universal Banker at TS Bank

JA is a volunteer-led program, with TS Institute facilitating the recruitment and training of volunteers to deliver the lessons in the classrooms. This allows community members to be involved in financial literacy instruction and also gives teachers an opportunity to take advantage of third party resources to offer different perspectives to their students. Twenty-three volunteers, employee and non-employee, are also implementing lessons for K-8th grades in Treynor Community School District.

To learn more about Junior Achievement, contact TS Institute at 712.487.0418. 

About TS Bank: TS Bank’s mission is to Ignite Prosperity® in the communities it serves. Leading the resurgence of community banking, TS Bank reinvests 10% of their net income locally; hosting educational events and partners with local organizations and non-profits. Treynor State Bank was chartered in 1923 and branded to TS Bank in 2005. TS Bank has $365 million in assets, along with the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines at nearly $218 million in assets named TS Prosperity Group. Locations include Treynor, Macedonia, Atlantic, Corning and Council Bluffs, Iowa. For more information visit tsbank.com.