Kiwanis Club updated on JA programs, operation

Posted 3/2/18

Cleveland Kiwanis Club members received an update on Junior Achievement, and operation in the region at Thursday's weekly luncheon at the downtown Elks Lodge.New Junior Achievement President Jennifer …

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Kiwanis Club updated on JA programs, operation


Cleveland Kiwanis Club members received an update on Junior Achievement, and operation in the region at Thursday's weekly luncheon at the downtown Elks Lodge.

New Junior Achievement President Jennifer Pennell-Aslinger explained her organization operates for students in Bradley, Polk, McMinn, Monroe and Meigs counties.

She said Bradley and McMinn are Junior Achievement's top classes, with activities  limited in the other counties. She said McMinn is second behind Bradley.

The JA president hopes Junior Achievement will be active in all five counties this year, although there were no classes in Meigs County last year.

Although Pennell-Aslinger has only been JA's top officer for a few months, she has been a volunteer for 15 years. She said this has allowed her to know what to expect in her new position.

She said JA is important, because statistics show 49 percent of today's students are not ready to enter the workforce. Also, 36 percent of Americans are not comfortable with their financial situations.

The JA president added that 91 percent of today's Millennials need more training to be able to enter an entrepreneurial field.

"We reinforce our values with education," said Pennell-Aslinger. "We teach students about specific employment skills and salaries."

JA enables its students to establish goals, and instructors assist them in attaining those goals.

"We realize it is not for our region, but for a global economy," added the organization's president.

She said the key areas for JA are workplace realisms, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and the fact that all of JA's programs build together.

She said JA teaches all of the pillars in categories, which include in-class programs, reality checks, their assigned family, getting a job, responsibilities, and the JA for a Day Program.

Pannell-Aslinger also explained JA's Company Program.

This is where students are allowed to start their own businesses. There is a start-up, the operation and management of the company, and eventually its liquidation.

She said the students began five companies last year,  four were profitable and the fifth broke even.

The students are also taught how they can give back to the community.

The JA president said the organization has several fundraising opportunities during the year. There are two bowling events, one in Athens and the second at Cleveland's Leisure Time Bowling;  the JA Race to Achieve; and JA Voices of Christmas.

Other Kiwanis business:

• Kay Smith was soliciting voluntary judges for Thursday's 4-H Public Speaking competition at Chattanooga State Community College.

• Club President Mike Stoess informed club members there was a break-in at the Elk Club during the past week, and some Kiwanis items were taken. Lost was the club's projector, and the club's framed charter was smashed.

• The annual Dr. Seuss Day event is scheduled from 9:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland State Community College.

The Kiwanis Club presents Dr. Seuss books to the students, and 850 or more are expected this year.


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