Kids learn real life lessons at JA Biztown camp
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CHARLOTTE -- About 50 kids are spending their day off Monday learning the ropes of being a working adult. It's a part of the Junior Achievement's "JA Biztown" and Monday, the organization held its first single-day camp during the school year, since CMS students are off for a teacher workday.
The kids aren’t playing house, they’re running a town. They apply and interview for jobs, run for town positions, write checks and balance budgets. These 9 to 12-year-olds already have a case of the Mondays.
"I wanted to see what it felt like to be a grownup for a day or so, and now I see how hard it is. I'm sorry, mom, for always pushing you so hard,” said Izaiha Hlaisi, a sixth grader at Randolph Middle School.
The companies vary from communications departments to the town bank. That's where Ryan Watts worked his last time at Biztown when he came with his school. As the CFO, he was approving on business loans.
"Then we counted up how many approved business loans we had and then we gave out the merit awards,” said Watts, a fourth grader at Elizabeth Lane Elementary.
They're given a lot of tasks and responsibility, just like a real grown up.
"When break time came, I was like oh thank you! Because it was so hard to do all of these things at once,” said Hlaisi.
While working and also learning things such as how to write and cash check, they had to run errands too.
"I learned that some stuff, you might want to buy is expensive, so you always need to keep track how much money you have in your account,” said Watts.
Even though they've got years before they have to tackle this on their own, this prepares them for whatever comes their way.
"They have to learn to work well as a team in the shops, work well with other people they might not get along with. It also provides them with discipline, math skills, writing skills, everything it's going to take for them to be successful in school,” said Jeff Matuszko, the assistant director of JA Biztown.
Watts says he wants to take his time as a kid before tackling the challenges of being an adult.
"Yeah, I'm gonna be ready for it,” said Watts.
The JA Biztown also hosts schools during normal school days, but they said they hope to continue running these single-day camps on days when the students are off, since there are so many teacher workdays during the first half of the school year.