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Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center
SU administrators toured the space representing the fictional SU Athletic Center following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Salisbury's new Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Michael Scott, dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology; Dr. Laurie Henry, dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education; SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre; and Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Science and Technology.

SU Experiences Await Area Students at New Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---When area elementary and middle school students visit the new Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center at Salisbury’s Oak Ridge Commons, Salisbury University will be at the forefront of their experience.

The $7.5 million facility — scheduled to open in November as the first of its kind on the Eastern Shore — will provide a hands-on approach to teaching children about business, careers and financial literacy.

“Since our founding as a state teachers college nearly a century ago, Salisbury University has been an advocate for education at all levels,” said SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre. “The Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center will allow us to enhance that legacy by meeting future Sea Gulls where they are as they receive a first-hand look at how business and finance interacts and begin considering the types of careers they may want to pursue in the future.”

Representing a miniature mock city, complete with realistic storefronts and businesses, the center will facilitate two national Junior Achievement capstone programs: JA BizTown and JA Finance Park.

Through BizTown, students learn about financial literacy, how the economy works, how their skills and interests can lead to careers, and how to manage a business. Units include lessons on real-world applications, such as how to open bank accounts, the difference between debit and credit cards, how to complete employment applications, and how to handle job interview questions.

JA Finance Park teaches students about topics including personal finance management, budgeting, education options, setting career goals, banking and investment. Again, units introduce many real-world concepts, including taxes, insurance, credit scores, the difference between leasing and buying, considering college costs, understanding stock quotes, and planning for retirement.

“Both will allow students to interact with local businesses to discover how these organizations benefit them as consumers and also show the opportunities that await in their own backyards,” said Jamie Hayes, president of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore.

That’s where supporters like SU come in.

In BizTown, students are assigned jobs at businesses including the fictional SU Athletic Center. There, a chief executive officer, chief finance officer, two coaches and a stadium supervisor — all between ages 11 and 13 — will work together to perform duties including scheduling games and tournament travel, soliciting sponsors, tending to the stadium’s utility needs and selling tickets. As a bonus, for every ticket purchased, the seller will receive an SU pin.

In Finance Park, an SU storefront will sell imaginary campus experiences, including tickets to athletics games and theatre productions, and study abroad trips, at various price points to help students learn to budget for entertainment as they spend their earnings from their BizTown jobs.

The center also features a fabricated collegiate bookstore, representing SU, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Wor-Wic Community College, Chesapeake Community College and Eastern Shore Community College. There, incentives for students include SU stickers.

In additional to showcasing local career opportunities and providing a better understanding of money management, goals for the facility and its programming include increasing graduation rates and stimulating economic growth.

The center is expected to serve thousands of students from throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as Accomack County, VA, with a focus on those in grades five through seven. Others also will have opportunities to attend.

“Every student in the region will come through this facility,” said Hayes. “We’re revolutionizing how students learn the skills they need to succeed outside the classroom. The Perdue Henson JA Center will create an impact our local economy will feel for years to come.”

In addition to supporting the center’s academic components, SU will play a real-world role at the facility, as well, sponsoring its mothers’ room, The Nest.

For more information on the center, visit the Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore website.

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.