Jacks Valley first-graders learn economics, business strategies | NevadaAppeal.com

Jacks Valley first-graders learn economics, business strategies

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Financial Advisor Patrick Gaskill was at Jacks Valley Elementary School on Monday to teach a class of first-graders about careers and earning money.

They’re not entrepreneurs yet, but a class of 29 first-graders squirming in their seats Monday to answer questions are learning the tools to take them there.

It all starts with one concept: profitability.

“Who gets all the profit at the ice-cream shop?” asked Pat Gaskill, a district manager with financial firm Waddell & Reed, of Carson City. He’s educating the Jacks Valley Elementary School students in the business strategies of Junior Achievement, an international program that incorporates economics into the lives of children and teens.

Most of the children answer back: “The owner!”

Gaskill gave them easy-to-grasp pearls of wisdom, such as, “the secret to any job you do … is to do a little extra.”

This concept helps students at their future jobs but also while at school. Teachers Susan Kendrick and Jenny Pendleton said the students who put in a little extra effort are recognized as “sunshine kids.”

Gaskill spices up his lesson with a little globalization, a threat that’s more familiar to adults in the technology and communication sectors.

“You better do your homework because kids in India want your jobs,” Gaskill said at the end of the 30-minute class.

Katie Nochera, 6, may not know a lot about international news, but she’s got the desire. Her dream is to be a reporter.

“My grandma likes the newspaper and I like to read them,” said the Douglas County girl.

Jack Halligan, 7, writes a list of all the things he wants to do: “fireman, trashworker, baseball, capowder (computer).”

Gaskill said fourth-graders learn about regional economic forces and how they work for the good of families. The business curriculum is available up through high school, when students can operate their own small business.

This is Gaskill’s first year with the program, which he started to benefit his daughter, a fourth-grader at Jacks Valley.

For information on the program, go to http://www.ja.org.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.