What is Biz Town?Posted by Kay Little on 5/29/2010 9:15:00 AM
The McGrath Family JA BizTown is a 10,000 square foot mini-city in which kids discover how free enterprise really works. There are 19 life-size businesses, a non-profit organization and a city hall. Every day, 150 new students become business owners, make financial decisions, explore philanthropy and pay taxes.
Lindo Park 5th grade teachers spent four weeks teaching the The McGrath Family JA BizTown curriculum. Students learned principles like economics, good citizenship, and money management. Each business offers the students the opportunity to work as CEO, CFO, or a business specific job. Students applied for the job that interested them. Once they were assigned to a job, students spent time with the other employees in their business to develop their business operating budget, applied for a bank loan, created advertising, and developed their marketing strategies.
After the curriculum was taught, the students went to The McGrath Family JA BizTown and became "grown-ups" for one day to put into practice all of the principles they learned in their classroom. At BizTown, the students are in charge!! Students work in a life-sized interactive city that is designed to reflect San Diego in the businesses, landscape, and architecture. In front of City Hall, the mayor gives a speech reminding the citizens of the laws of The McGrath Family JA BizTown, and encouraging everyone to exercise their civic duty by voting. Students check the business break schedule to know when they are allowed to leave work, visit the bank, and become a consumer in the city.
The students left BizTown feeling personally successful after spending the day working hard at their jobs. They also left with a greater understanding of the value of a dollar, the importance of team work, and how to be a contributing citizen in the community. The time spent at The McGrath Family JA BizTown was only one day, but the impact that this experiential learning has will last a life time!