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Volunteers sought for JA program

As local students eagerly await the chance to learn abouteconomics, volunteers are being sought out to teach them.

The Lincoln County chapter of Junior Achievement hopes to findseveral volunteers to “educate and inspire young people to valuefree enterprise, understand business and economics to improve thequality of their lives,” said Jessica Cole, the district operationsmanager.

The national non-profit organization brings vital classes, suchas Personal Economics, into classrooms at Alexander Junior HighSchool, Lipsey Middle School, Enterprise, West Lincoln, Loyd Starand Bogue Chitto Attendance Centers.

“We make it easy for the volunteers by having the curriculumready for them to go right into the classroom after a shorttraining session,” Cole said of the classes that have been taughtby volunteers the last few years.

Volunteers usually visit the classroom for less than an houronce a week for five to eight weeks.

“We’re running a lot of classes this spring, so we really needmore volunteers than we have signed up so far,” Cole said.

Cole pointed out that many people shy away from volunteeringbecause of the word “economics,” which often scares people, but thecurriculum makes it easy for anyone with an education.

Even high school students will have the opportunity to teachthis spring. Members of the Brookhaven High School honor societyhave volunteered to teach some of the elementary classes.

The elementary classes are designed to help students understandthe roles of individual, worker and consumer in economics.

On the junior high level, students learn the value of completinghigh school and setting goals. Key components include activitiesthat help students identify personal interests and summarize howeducation affects career options and earnings.

In personal economics, students learn about budgets, personaland family management and the use and abuse of credit, along withjob hunting skills and career options.

Cole said volunteering in the classrooms can be extremelybeneficial to the volunteers and most of all, the students.

“I think they have a chance to first of all have a role modelvisit their class. . . and they get to learn about things theyprobably don’t learn at home,” she said.

Some of the volunteers in the area include the board ofdirectors, consisting of Shannon Aker, John Behan, Chandler Russ,Bill Boerner, Dr. Sam Bounds, Perry Miller, Owen Carty, Ken Harlin,Jim Hedges, Bill Jacobs, Mark Lewis, Bill Sones, Andrew Spiller,Tillmon Bishop and Art Stevens.

Cole hopes to be able to bring the classes to more students nextyear by educating the public about the beneficial program andraising more money to buy supplies.

“We are funded by a lot of the local businesses, and we hope toget more of them involved,” she said.