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Moline High School Students Volunteer for Junior Achievement

(Moline, IL) – The nation faces an acute shortage of minority and male teachers, as well as academically talented students who are interested in teaching as a career. The Moline-Coal Valley School District is working to change that through the “Grow Your Own” high school program, capturing the interest of potential teachers. The purpose of the program is to give high school students interested in a teaching career an understanding of the profession. Students in the “Grow Your Own” program have collaborated with Junior Achievement’s High School Heroes program to get hands-on experience of teaching in the classroom. During the course, students will gain knowledge of various learning styles and essential components of child and adolescent development that impact education. In addition, students will advance their critical thinking skills so they can adapt quickly to new circumstances and develop successful solutions to problems.

Moline High School students participating in this program had the opportunity to teach the learning experience, JA Our Families®, to first grade students at Butterworth Elementary School. “I think the students get a lot out of the JA lessons like wants and needs, which goes along with our curriculum. I also think the students are really enjoying having a high school student with us, she seems to relate to them pretty well,” said Stephanie Bergstrand, first grade teacher at Butterworth Elementary.

The students loved having a high school volunteer teach them about different jobs in a community, entrepreneurial traits, and how to make smart choices with the money you earn. We asked first grader, Elex, what he learned from the JA lessons, “I learned more about my money and how I can take care of my money and buy things with money.”

“Being able to see that I can be one of those people that can impact students is huge for me, so I’ve loved the experience,” said Moline High School student, Abigaille Rangel, of her experience teaching JA in the classroom.

Through the High School Heroes program students explore the importance of leadership skills and the value of community involvement. They learn the importance of communication and conflict-management skills to achieve group goals.  They also learn effective presentation techniques to get an audience’s attention and keep it, and gain insight into classroom dynamics to assist with managing elementary school students when in that environment.

Junior Achievement is still looking for volunteers to teach JA learning experiences this semester. Follow this link to learn more about JA volunteer opportunities, https://jaheartland.org/volunteer-today/.

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