Stepping Out of Our Usual Roles: Working with Elementary Students

Posted by on May 20, 2013

Community Service Day, Junior AchievementOn Friday, May 17, all schools in the Minnesota School of Business (MSB) network participated in the 7th annual Community Service Day.  Each school works with charitable organizations on volunteer projects and/or provides educational workshops for community members.  For the second year in a row, staff and faculty at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center partnered with Junior Achievement, which aligns with MSB’s commitment to building communities through education.

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JA) utilizes more than 7,500 volunteers from the community each year to share their personal story while teaching fun and engaging JA lessons designed to help students reach their full potential.  This year 30 MSB staff and faculty members provided JA lessons to more than 300 students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade at Fair Oaks Elementary in Brooklyn Park.

Community Service Day, Junior Achievement

Kari Martin reads to kindergarteners

Volunteers worked in pairs in 15 classrooms to teach the young students five different lessons that revolve around an overall theme. Kindergarten focuses on “Ourselves,” first grade focuses on “Our Family,” and second grade focuses on “Our Community.”  Fun hands-on activities and innovative age-appropriate lessons prepare the students to become good citizens, workers and consumers.

The partnership with JA gave staff and faculty the opportunity to be role models for these youth, to help prepare the youth for a successful future, and to create a fun way to teach important lessons containing basic concepts of business and economics, which culminates in illustrating how education is relevant in the workplace and in the students’ futures.

Community Service Day, Junior Achievement

Stephanie Petersen and Joe Manier discussing jobs with first graders

Ann Deiman-Thornton, MSB-Brooklyn Center dean of faculty, said, “The Community Service Day event enabled faculty and staff to step out of their usual roles in working with adult students, into the world of K12 education. We had a wonderful time delivering Junior Achievement curriculum to kindergarten, first, and second grade students. It was fun, refreshing, and a valuable way to give back to the community around our campus.”

John Liebrenz and Dick Bennett, admissions representatives, partnered to work with first graders, and they both thoroughly enjoyed their time in the classrooms.  Liebrenz said, “Working with six- and seven-year-old students was definitely a change of pace from working with adult students.  I really enjoyed listening to the students and watching their excitement as we talked about their futures and aspirations for life.”

Community Service Day, Junior Achievement

Kelly O’Brien teaching second graders about voting

Bennett said, “The students were very excited to have us in the room.  They loved sharing their goals with us, and it was positive to hear them discuss their dreams.  I’m happy that I was able to take part in this event!”

Thank you to Fair Oaks Elementary for allowing us the opportunity to work with your students and to Junior Achievement for providing us such a great curriculum to teach!


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