INDEPENDENCE—State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) graduated a class of third graders from St. Michael’s School in Independence from Junior Achievement.

The program is a volunteer-delivered organization that seeks to impart skills surrounding work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy upon students. At St. Michael’s, Rep. Anielski and the class explored various ways that government and business interact in the student’s lives before engaging in a sleuthing exercise. From a group of five volunteers, the students were tasked with asking yes or no questions that would reveal which adult was an assistant, a cabinet maker, a reporter, a librarian, and a detective.

“I wanted to challenge the students’ abilities to ask questions and decipher clues as well as their assumptions about which genders perform which jobs,” said Rep. Anielski. “I want the students to see that they can do whatever job they choose and do it well. It’s important that we encourage all students to follow their dreams and aptitudes to their full potential.”

The students completed a section of Junior Achievement titled “Our Community,” which focuses on the characteristics of cities and how they are shaped by zoning, city income, and other elements of municipal life.

"We appreciate Rep. Anielski's commitment to expanding our third graders' knowledge of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and real-world experiences through these hands-on Junior Achievement lessons," said Margaret Campisi, Principal of St. Michael’s School.  "These are all valuable and important life skills that our teachers try to incorporate into their lessons at all grade levels, but when we have individuals from the outside world volunteer their time to reinforce these skills, especially a State Representative, that makes it even more valuable."

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