April 6, 2011

Launch at Medium Speed

I just finished teaching a five week long course in Community Building to a fabulous group of second graders. I work as a volunteer for Junior Achievement.
Junior Achievement programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
Obviously, at the second grade level, it was an introductory lesson, to teach the children something to build on for the future.  We discussed the ways that people, businesses, and government work together to build a community that everyone enjoys living in. We had a mock election, a donut factory, payday and tax collection. We campaigned for an issue, whether to build a toy store, animal shelter or skate park, in a vacant space in our community.

For about 45 minutes a week, I visited their classroom and was met with enthusiasm that knew no boundary. My group of 24 children had ideas, thoughts and dreams. Several wanted to be teachers, doctors, engineers, chefs. One girl wanted to be a billionaire, but didn't have a business plan yet. (I'm optimistic that JA will get her pointed in the right direction). Their dreams touched my world as I saw their futures stretch before them.

Yesterday was my last day with them. They had a big envelope filled with cards and letters for me. One boy made me a paper airplane (he's the one who wants to be an engineer) which he advised to "Launch at Medium Speed".

I think instead, they should launch at full speed ahead.

Thank you to the second grade class for your love and joy! I just know you'll all be wonderful successes and I cannot wait to stop in and visit you again.
Mrs. U.


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