by Lynette Weight
5th Grade Teacher, Granger Elementary
Guest Blogger

A few weeks ago, our ENTIRE fifth grade had the unique opportunity to participate in JA City at the Discovery Gateway Center. For weeks we prepared for our adventure there: discussing money and finance, daily practice of writing checks and filling out deposit slips, going over our job responsibilities, etc. We tried our best to be ready for the big day.

We rode the buses to the center, listening to the eager chatter of the children. When we arrived, we climbed into the elevator and headed upstairs. You couldn’t hear a sound as the students came into this miniature town; probably the quietest I’ve seen some of these students! They were walking down the “street,” feasting on the visual smorgasbord around them.

Our first stop was the town square at the center of the city for our FIRST town meeting. During the meeting, our mayor was sworn in and given a few directions before they headed off to their previously assigned businesses. There, they met their volunteer helper, and got settled before their doors opened for the business day.

JA CityThanks to the great staff there and volunteers that manned each business, teachers were able to mingle around and observe our students in action!! It was inspiring to see how engaged the children were in their assigned responsibilities. Each child was given an assignment weeks before, corresponding to each business. Even students that sometimes struggle with attention abilities were on task. There was a low hum about the city as they buzzed around like little worker bees: some taking loan applications to the bank, others selling goods, and a few reporters wandering around the city looking for a good story.

We are grateful for our assistant principal coordinating everything and for the staff of JA City for their support in helping us be prepared for our experience. We are also grateful to United Way of Salt Lake: if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have been able to have the experience at all. Thank you for providing our students and faculty with such a positive experience we will never forget! We are excited to take a new group this coming year!