Junior Achievement programs coming to Central Schools

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Sara Hertrampf, Sales and Marketing Manager at Alpine Communications, displays the Junior Achievement materials she will use in an upcoming presentation.

By Pam Reinig

Register Editor


Central Schools will soon launch Junior Achievement programming, thanks to social media and a casual conversation with a family member.

Sara Hertrampf, Sales and Marketing Manager at Alpine Communications, saw a friend’s Facebook post about the value of his daughter’s involvement in JA. Soon after, Hertrampf’s brother mentioned his company’s corporate sponsorship of a JA gala fund-raising event.

“Those two actions prompted me to research Junior Achievement, and the organization’s goal of fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through community volunteers really resonated with me, ” Hertrampf explained. “As a parent, I want my kids to have the real-life skills of being a good employee, contributing to the community they will eventually live in, and to understand the positive impact they can make in the lives around them.”

Hertrampf added that an opportunity to use her business skills as a classroom volunteer presenter was another selling point. She also appreciated the fact that JA provides a structured, interesting, and unique curriculum.

Her research led Hertrampf to Cassandra Druhl, JA education manager. The two met with Nick Trenkamp, Central elementary principal and superintendent, who also embraced the idea. 

“The programming aligns heavily with what our local employers have been telling me is lacking in our students,” Trenkamp said. “Like reading and math, I believe the sooner we can start teaching our students the importance of personal finance, job skills and community involvement,  the stronger these skills will be when our students hit high school and are actually in a job shadow and work programs.”

Soon after the holiday break, Hertrampf will present a JA-developed unit called “Our Region” to a combined fourth- and fifth-grade classroom. There will be five sessions; each will be about 45 minutes in length. Another parent-volunteer, Kerry Taylor, will work with her. They are hoping to recruit a third person for their presentation, which is a first-ever JA offering to Central elementary students. 

“Our Region” will introduce students to concepts like entrepreneurialism, supply chain management and problem solving. The curriculum includes engaging and fun activities like the Hot Dog Stand Game that teaches youngsters business fundamentals like the importance of accurate account tracking. Again, all materials are provided by JA; training DVD is included. 

“JA makes it easy and stress-free for folks to present materials in the classroom,” Hertrampf continued. “Each session is basically scripted out, which makes it very easy to coordinate and execute.” There’s some flexibility in the presentation that enables presenters to add their own real-world experiences.

The continuation of the program will depend on the number of volunteers who will commit to it.

“I feel our community members have a ton of talent that can be used to enhance our teaching and learning,” Trenkamp said. “So I am really excited that Junior Achievement is delivered through partnerships with local community members.”

Anyone interested in helping with the JA initiative can the Central Business Office at 563-245-1751.

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