Spokane North Notes
A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club
December 1, 2014
Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Program Coordinator: Jim Minkler
            Sign up now:  If not already done, members are asked to sign up soon with coordinator Lenore Romney for the gala Dec. 15 holiday lunch featuring holiday songs from 15 or so Holmes Elementary School students.  Students and the adults accompanying them will join us for lunch at The Lincoln Center.   Spouses and other special friends are very welcome to attend.
Making a world of sense in a global economy
            Using local volunteers and hands-on experiences, Junior Achievement tries to make sense of the business world and global economy for students from kindergarten through high school.
            Diane Dowling, JA marketing manager for Eastern Washington and North Idaho, described the business-educator partnership programs at the Dec. 1 club luncheon.
            Dowling, a former retail advertising account executive for The Spokesman-Review, said Spokane has a three-person Junior Achievement office, headquartered in the Paulsen Building downtown.
            In the Spokane region, some 6,600 students in 284 classrooms have received JA lessons this year, Dowling said.  The goal is 320 classrooms by the end of the school year, she said.  The JA programs are free to the schools, she said.
            The “three pillars” of JA, she said, are financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.
            Lessons are taught by a wide range of volunteers, including business professionals, parents and retired teachers.  Dowling said the focus is on Title 1 schools with at least 52 percent of free-and-reduced lunch populations.  Holmes is on the list.
            In younger grades, instruction involves five sessions of lessons lasting from 45 minutes to an hour.  She said the lessons may be scheduled on consecutive days or in consecutive weeks, depending on the teachers’ preference.  At the high school level, seven sessions may be scheduled, she added.
            One high school hypothetical lesson, she said, involves “a 27-year-old single parent earning $25,000 as an office assistant.   How do you manage?”  In another scenario, students pretend they operate a fast-food restaurant and work through a day’s business issues.
            Special JA-Day events also are held.  She cited a “Brown at Browne Day” at the north side elementary, hosted by UPS.  Drivers and other staff, dressed in their brown delivery uniforms, brought a large brown UPS delivery truck to the school to mark the event, which involved all 435 Browne students.
            At Holmes, Dowling said, a celebration day for Junior Achievement featured city of Spokane staffers, including police and firefighters in uniform.
            Having District 81 Supt. Shelley Redinger on the local JA board helps connect Spokane schools with the program, Dowling said.
            Third-party evaluators attest that the Junior Achievement program does help students develop skills they need to succeed in a global marketplace.
            The organization says JA reaches four million U.S. students from 137 offices, and another five million students in 123 countries worldwide – a truly global program for a global economy.