On Tuesday, March 12, a group of nine student volunteers from the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at Whippany Park arrived at Bee Meadow School. They were there on a mission: teach the fifth grade class about the basics of business.
The students were placed into groups of three and assigned to a fifth grade classroom. Upon arrival, the group of three would introduce themselves to the children and begin their lessons. Each group was given a bag of teaching supplies, workbooks, games, and more, along with an instructor’s manual, supplied by Junior Achievement.
There was a mutual feeling of joy and laughter filling the halls of Bee Meadow that day. Both the students and the teachers enjoyed this activity. Student volunteer Jonathan Slavin stated, “I did enjoy the trip as I believed it helped me in building skills in talking to young students. …I believe the event was successful because while teaching, I saw all the kids’ admiring looks and realized I could learn a thing or two from them.”
While the purpose of this trip may seem superfluous to some, Mrs. Ritacco, the WPHS business teacher and leader of the FBLA, sums up the basis of the event: “There are multiple objectives for our JA Days. The first is to teach elementary school students about financial literacy. Our second objective is for our high school student[s] to learn skills like time management, public speaking and leadership through their running of the program.”
Not only did the students enjoy the day of fun, but the teachers had an exuberant time as well. Mrs. Cafaro, one of the fifth grade teachers at Bee Meadow School, comments on the occasion: “FBLA Junior Achievement is an awesome event for my students to participate in. They remained engaged in the lessons throughout the period of time [the students volunteers] were here. They definitely learned a lot about entrepreneurship and now they are thinking about their careers as adults.”
This trip to Bee Meadow was only one of three that were planned. The club still has yet to visit the other two elementary schools in the district: Salem Drive and Mountview Road.