A True Game Changer
Junior Achievement And Prince George’s County Public Schools Are A Match Made In Heavenly Success. Here’s Why.
By Raoul Dennis // @suitemagazine
Every year becomes more challenging for teachers across the nation to find successful methods to reach and teach their students. Today’s students multitask, they live in a digital world with a language and culture all its own, attention spans are more challenged than ever and if all that weren’t enough, old fashioned youthful pushback against authority figures hasn’t changed a bit.
But the approach to learning needs to change – and it’s beginning to do just that.
The recently announced partnership forged between Prince George’s County Public Schools and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington is a step in the right direction for reaching young people where they are in today’s sensory-driven, attention-competitive world.
Junior Achievement’s 3DE program, launched at Potomac High School this fall, brings a tactile, comprehensive approach to the classroom.
According to JA: “3DE by Junior Achievement is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and economic mobility by re-engineering high school education to improve student engagement, accelerate academic outcomes, and develop competencies to excel in the future of work.
3DE schools are developed and sustained through joint venture partnerships with school districts, 3DE by Junior Achievement and the broader business community. 3DE launched in Atlanta in 2015 and by 2024 aims to expand to 55 schools serving nearly 20,000 students.”
3DE has helped create a 46% increase in the graduation rate at schools in Atlanta. Aimed at improving the most challenged schools in the system, JA’s 3DE program has proven itself to have the kind of structure and success that compels young people and fulfills the hopes of potential future employers.
Why does this matter so much?
There is a domino effect through the use of JA that can reroute cycles of family and community poverty. This effect can potentially lead to generational wealth and raising the economic status of a jurisdiction through the proper applications of programs like 3DE and peppering it across a sizable public school system like PGCPS (the second largest school district in the state of Maryland).
Teaching students the fundamentals of critical thinking, public presentation, financial literacy (FICO score and other real world life management skills) create the foundation to aid families where such skills have never been part of the equation. And doing so in a manner that motivates and makes real such education assures that the information will not merely be absorbed for a rote memory test but applied to daily life—for life.
Citizens who are better fiscal managers of their personal lives and young professionals who are of higher scholastic caliber are more attractive to employers, better business managers, and more likely to be successful business startup leaders. With these tools, students who successfully come through such programs make better consumers. It creates a more robust county economy. And with that comes more purchases of high end products and services: cars, boats, homes --- and better colleges and universities for their own children.
Undoubtedly, if 3DE is successful at Potomac High School as educators, elected officials and business leaders expect it to be, it will be expanded to other schools to reach more within the over 130,800-student system. While it’s far too early to project the specific impact that 3DE may have, there is a clear potential for PGCPS to put forward graduating classes that will elevate the tax base and increase the overall value of Prince George’s in years to come.