BizTown, a Junior Achievement hands-on learning facility in the form of a staged mini-city, encourages fifth- and sixth-grade students to learn about the free enterprise system by participating in a simulated town. Students take part in day-long sessions in which each student assumes the role of a business community member by operating a BizTown store and interacting with other student business community members. Recognizing the importance of teaching children to be philanthropic, the Phoenix-area Junior Achievement, in partnership with the Lodestar Foundation, developed a BizTown pilot program, “The Philanthropy Shop,” where student Philanthropy Shop operators solicit volunteers and philanthropic donations (in BizTown money) from other BizTown student business operators. During the successful three-year pilot program, more than 51,000 students were exposed to the concept of philanthropy. 98 percent could define philanthropy after their participation, and 71 percent chose to give a portion of their BizTown earnings during the program. The Lodestar Foundation provided funds for the three-year pilot program and to continue the program in Arizona for an additional two years. After funding the creation and continuation of the Philanthropy Shop in Phoenix, the Lodestar Foundation provided a grant to develop an implementation kit, complete with classroom curriculum, simulation activity design, and shop set-up and décor, to expand the program to five additional cities. Today, all 25 BizTown locations in the U.S. have a Nonprofit Shop, and the majority of these are Philanthropy Shops.
Grant Amount: $145,000
Year Granted: 2012
Timeframe: Grant awarded over multiple years
Grantee: Junior Achievement
Grantee Website: Junior Achievement