Junior Achievement Celebrates Successful Year

Junior Achievement (JA) is celebrating a banner year for financial literacy education in Talbot County. The 2012-2013 academic year has been one of growth for the non-profit organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA provides this teaching free of charge to the schools by raising funds in our community.

Junior Achievement has been active in Talbot County since 2011 and has almost tripled the number of students served in the past nine months. During the 2012-2013 year, JA taught more than 502 students in 24 classrooms. A dedicated team of 24 volunteer instructors presented curricula focused on financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship. This 164% increase is unprecedented in the national JA organization, where annual growth projections are typically 5%.

A major accomplishment for 2012-2013 was the expansion of JA into all public school seventh grade classrooms for the spring semester. This addition of 283 students to the program was made possible by generous donations from local businesses, individuals and foundations. The successful Talbot Cup Dodgeball Tournament, held in January by Eventful Giving raised over $6,000 for JA programs in Talbot County. Title sponsor, Out of the Fire restaurant provided the bulk of that support. All told, JA raised over $28,000 for financial literacy in Talbot County over the past school year.

This spring, the Talbot County Council and the Easton Town Council each issued proclamations designating April as Financial Literacy Month.

“JA is humbled by and grateful for the support of the Town of Easton and Talbot County, our partners in the schools, our volunteers, our donors, and the greater professional community,” said Geoff Oxnam, JA of Talbot County Advisory Board Chair. “Our students are fortunate to have community leaders who are equally committed to investing in our youth to make sure they are competitive and prepared to meet the challenges of the future.”

The successful 2012-2013 academic year has brought the organization closer to its long-term goal of creating an experiential learning facility at Achievement Park, site of the former Cadmus building in Easton on Idlewild Avenue. Developers Palmer Gillis and Tony Gilkerson have generously donated a significant amount of space for the purpose of building this educational center.

Looking ahead, Junior Achievement will expand its educational efforts in Talbot County and grow its student base to include students in high school, middle school and elementary school. To do so will require JA to recruit more volunteers and raise more funding for this important mission.

“Advocate for financial literacy education in school and at home, volunteer to teach financial literacy, and help us provide financial literacy education free of charge,” said Mr. Oxnam. “Ultimately, JA’s goal is to give every student in every Talbot County school financial literacy training each year.”

To learn more about how to volunteer as an instructor, help with upcoming events or make a donation, please contact Geoff Oxnam at goxnam@eusmail.com or by calling (443) 496-2977. To learn more about JA, visit www.easternshoreja.org.

About Junior Achievement of Talbot County
Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is a branch of a national organization dedicated to educating students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness skills. The organization’s mission is to ensure that every child in America has a fundamental understanding of the free enterprise system. The Talbot County Advisory Board supports that effort in Talbot County. Through grants, donations, school sponsorships, and special events, JA of Talbot County provides educational opportunities for students completely free to schools. To learn more about supporting JA of Talbot County, visit www.easternshoreja.org or call 410.742.8112.