Junior Achievement of Elkhart to launch hands-on business project for students

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Junior Achievement of Elkhart County is behind a project that will get young kids to think about the future.

It's geared towards elementary students and involves 2 components -- Biz Town and Finance Town -- that simulate real life scenarios.

They will get hands-on experience in holding a job, running a business and making a living.

It’s essentially a small town where students learn how to become a citizen, how to function, how to have a job, how to write a paycheck and how to cash those checks.

Students will have a guide to take them through the opportunities.

“When a student has entered Biz Town, they are a citizen and a worker for the day,” said Liz Brow, from Junior Achievement of Elkhart County. “We actually have a curriculum that they take into the classroom and this guide assigns them a job that they have to interview for."

Biz-Town will serve elementary students within a 30-mile radius. It includes everything from a post office and bank to a radio station.

“We'll have about 15 to 16 storefronts, in addition the RV manufacturing line,” continued Brow.

The Biz Town will be going in Elkhart’s northside and will be located in a portion of a warehouse owned by the Ethos Science Center. The staff here is very pleased and happy to be a part of the overall project.

"With having the Biz Town come on board, it lets us look at the business components, the economics of how people do things,” said Patsy Boehler, from the Ethos Science Center. “And that's a perfect fit with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that we already teach with our STEM programming. Really, it's a perfect partnership because we do have a shared mission."

Junior Achievement will use a capital campaign to build Biz Town.

The goal is to have it ready to go for the start of school next fall.

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