Brittany Kinder has been passionate about experiential learning all throughout her 18-year career with Douglas County School District. She became a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Summit View Elementary School because she admired the school’s focus on real-world education, which includes a partnership with Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (JA).
Kinder says, “We aren’t just asking students, ‘What are you doing here at school that makes you a good student?’ but instead, ‘How are you contributing to the world? How is the work that we’re doing impacting those around us?’”
Today Kinder works as the Professional Learning Specialist at Summit View and also coordinates their school-wide JA programs. Instructional coaching, she says, is all about being resourceful and finding creative ways to support teachers. JA is one among many ways that Kinder helps educators achieve their classroom goals, meet standards and provide interactive and fun experiences for students.
“When I came to Summit View, JA was already a big part of their community and curriculum,” Kinder says. “Coming here was eye-opening for me, seeing what an authentic experience JA is for kids. I keep the program alive through advertising with teachers, as well as with parents who might not be able to volunteer at school every week, because with JA they can commit a smaller chunk of time and still be a part of our school’s community. It’s a great way to bring in community members and families and have them share their expertise in the real world and business.”
School coordinators are a crucial part of successful JA program delivery. Communication with teachers is one of the keys to JA’s success in the classroom, and strong liaisons like Kinder make the process run smoothly every step of the way, along with the help of JA resources. Kinder says, “JA staff members make it really easy by providing such great information and web resources to share with the teachers to show the purpose behind the programs.”
She continues, “JA’s value speaks for itself. Parents are always asking me, ‘Hey, can I be the JA volunteer for your room?’ As well as teachers asking me, ‘Hey, when are we going to have the JA materials? When are we going to get this started?’ So I think it’s definitely something that’s part of our culture – it’s what we do here at Summit View.”
Interested in bringing JA to your classroom? Visit our Educators page.