On a cold Thursday morning, two days before spring break, an excited group of fifth-graders board buses heading for work at BizTown. Having spent the past five weeks of social studies class periods preparing for this day, Granville Intermediate students are ready to practice real-life economic lessons in a simulated community environment.
What is Biztown?
BizTown is part of the Junior Achievement program. Granville Schools offers the program as part of the fifth grade social studies curriculum each year and is funded by donations from the Granville Rotary.
The BizTown facility is located in a former school building in downtown Columbus. The interior is designed to simulate a community complete with retail shops, mayor’s office, newspaper, radio and television stations, bank, restaurants and travel agency. Here children become adults for a day and perform jobs to pay back their business loans.
“When they get there, they have a town meeting. The Junior Achievement people explain to the students what the day will look like,” said Elizabeth Newell, fifth-grade teacher and BizTown coordinator for Granville. “Then the students go back to their shops where they begin their jobs for the day.”