Supervisor touts financial literacy program for schools

Richard Walker

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County supervisor wants to bring Junior Achievement – a business and financial education program – to local schools.

Vice Chairman Richard Walker told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday about the effort to start the program in the county school system and the need for volunteers.

“Everybody’s always asking me what we’re going to do about economic development and we’re also asked to show support for our educational system and it’s been pointed out that the two go hand in hand,” Walker said.

The program is available at no cost to the county and Walker said Junior Achievement is expanding the program in financial literacy to include five classes, kindergarten through high school, on a yearly basis. Junior Achievement provides training for the volunteers, he noted.

The supervisor said he sees the program as away to pull the community together in education and economic development.

Chairman Conrad Helsley said he thought bringing the program into the school system would be a great idea.

Walker told the board he wanted to make members aware that he has contacted the national Junior Achievement headquarters, the organization’s Richmond office, Shenandoah County schools Superintendent Mark Johnston and Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass as well as the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce regarding the program.

“It’s in discussion at this point and we’re looking forward to recruiting volunteers from our business community,” Walker said.

The supervisor, a retired certified public accountant, said his father was involved in the Junior Achievement program more than 50 years ago.

A flyer from Junior Achievement of Central Virginia states its mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. The nonprofit organization receives funding from individuals, foundations and area businesses. Junior Achievement offers curricula aligned to the Virginia Standards of Learning, delivered by volunteers who frame lessons in real-world examples, the flyer states.

More than 2,300 volunteers working through Junior Achievement of Central Virginia served almost 27,000 students in 149 schools in 13 districts in the 2015-2016 school year, the flyer notes.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com.