At JA of Lincoln, we get the opportunity to experience first-hand the kind of quality education available to students in Lincoln and our surrounding areas. To put it simply, there are so many great schools! But some schools go beyond great, and work toward becoming super!
In order to become a JA Super School, every K-5th grade classroom in the schools must participate in the JA curriculum and host a JA volunteer during a given school year. During the 2014-2015 school year, we had 21 Super Schools, and we expect that number to grow for 2015-2016! All JA Super Schools receive special recognition during our annual awards banquet.
With 34 classrooms participating in JA last year, Kooser Elementary was 2014-2015’s largest JA Super School. Principal Ann Jablonski says she’s proud that Kooser has been an all-JA school since it opened in 2009. “Our students have the opportunity to learn about economics through meaningful, engaging activities. The JA curriculum is grade appropriate and has application to the real world. Our students really benefit from being taught by talented community members. I do not have to sell JA to my teachers as they see the value of this great program.”
Kooser 1st grade teacher Diane Sullivan has had JA in her classroom during her entire 8 year tenure with LPS, and she sees the impact the JA curriculum has on her young students. “I feel it has been a very positive experience for students as they learn about different careers and opportunities available to them. They begin thinking about their future and what it will take to reach their goals. First graders learn many important life skills such as wants and needs from the JA volunteers.”
For Kooser 5th grade teacher Ryan Erickson, the biggest benefit of JA in his classroom is the opportunity for students to connect to the larger world. “There are numerous positive influences JA has had on my students over the past six years. One of the biggest influences is the connection between skills needed in the workforce, and what we are doing in school every single day. My students love having conversations with our JA volunteer on skills they are using in their field, and relating them back to what they are learning in the classroom every single day. Another positive influence JA has had on my classes is it has created goals for my students. My students learn about a specific skill or career in a lesson, and it opens their eyes to a career they might not have ever thought about, or even had known was a possibility for them. I have also really enjoyed the connection JA has made between our community and our classrooms. The students really see a partnership between our community and schools. The students appreciate the time our volunteers have taken to come teach lessons, and they are extremely thankful for that time together.”
Thank you and congratulations to all of our JA Super Schools!