SAN YSIDRO – Students from San Ysidro School District’s La Mirada and Sunset elementary schools discovered how the “real world” works on Oct. 6 and 7 as they ran their own 10,000 square foot mini-town and managed businesses, wrote checks and operated banks.

Approximately 167 La Mirada and 133 Sunset fifth-graders became Junior Achievement BizTown “citizens” where they made financial decisions, worked in one of 21 businesses, paid taxes and donated to charity.

This was San Ysidro School District’s first time attending BizTown, but the District will be attending again in April 2017.

“I think it’s really cool that we get to run our own business and do things that adults do,” Sunset fifth-grader Eric Baes said. “It’s actually helping me a lot for the real world.”

After weeks of preparation in the classroom, including learning how the economy works, how to apply for jobs and how to run successful businesses, students put their skills to the test during a 4.5-hour simulated work day experience.

“If I had the opportunity to do something like this again, I definitely would,” La Mirada fifth-grader Pedro Moreno said. “I had a great time.”

Since spring 2016, more than 4,000 SYSD students across all seven elementary and middle schools have been fully immersed in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship learning opportunities through the District’s robust partnership with Junior Achievement of San Diego.

“We made it very clear to our students and families that we are focused on ensuring our kids have every single opportunity to compete with kids from all over the world,” San Ysidro School District Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca said. “This is just one example of many more opportunities yet to come.”

The interactive experience not only educated students on the importance of financial responsibility and planning for a successful future, but allowed them to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to the “real world.”

“Junior Achievement and BizTown are broadening our students’ academic horizons and getting them to think about their future,” said Alexis Rodriguez, San Ysidro School District After School Education and Safety program coordinator. “This is an incredible experience for our students.”

“It’s important for our students to learn about making intelligent financial decisions,” SYSD Board President Marcos Diaz said. “We are excited for this partnership with J.A. because it represents our commitment to strengthening ties with valuable organizations within our community to better serve our kids.”

Photo Captions

SYSD BizTown 1: Eager San Ysidro School District students rush into BizTown on Oct. 6 and 7 to start their work days as “citizens” of their very own 10,000 square foot mini-town.

SYSD BizTown 2: La Mirada Elementary fifth-graders Alejandra Ramirez and Pedro Moreno discuss their roles as industry leaders at BizTown with local media.

SYSD BizTown 3: Sunset Elementary fifth-grader Eric Baes opened savings accounts, assisted bank tellers and verified customer accounts as a savings officer at BizTown.

SYSD BizTown 4: La Mirada students from BizTown SDG&E go over duties and prepare for the work day.