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Gulf Middle students to learn economics and business

By Staff | Mar 31, 2009

Students at Gulf Middle School are going to get a crash course in the world of economics and business.
Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s program “Economics for Success,” being taught throughout Lee County middle schools, will make its way to Gulf Middle on Thursday.
Aimed at seventh- and eighth-graders, the program focuses on introducing students to the perils of personal finance, including credit, debit, insurance and savings, as well as the economic benefits of staying in school. It is part of the organization’s financial literary programs.
“We are working with Lee County schools to do 60 of these classes in career exploratory classes,” said Junior Achievement spokeswoman Cecilia St. Arnold. “At Gulf Middle, they are doing six of these classes this year, with six different volunteers teaching it.”
The Junior Achievement program relies greatly on volunteers to lead the economic programs.
St. Arnold said all volunteers come from a business background, and the organization has been flooded with volunteers because so many people have lost their jobs.
Cape Realtor Michael Schneider-Christians will lead Thursday’s classes at Gulf Middle.
“He has a lot of global background,” St. Arnold said. “He’s been volunteering with us for years.”
Junior Achievement offers economic educational programs through elementary, middle and high school.
St. Arnold said middle school students often move on to the high school level courses, which offer them the opportunity to become their own chief executive officer and start a fake business.
For Thursday’s program, the students will utilize computer software that simulates the “real world” and allows them to navigate financial situations.
“I believe it gives kids their first taste of economics. Our program this week teaches them about debit, credit and insurance,” St. Arnold said. “It’s very important they get this information younger and younger.”