Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon raises money to teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy | VailDaily.com

Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon raises money to teach entrepreneurship, financial literacy

The fourth annual Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon is today at Bol in Vail’s Solaris building. The annual benefit helps the nonprofit Junior Achievement provide training in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness.
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If you go …

What: Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon.

When: Today. 5:30 p.m. for teams already registered, 7:45 p.m. for people who still want to bowl but aren’t on a team.

Where: Bol, in the Solaris building, 141 E. Meadow Drive, Vail.

Cost: $100 for individuals, and $1,000 to sponsor a team.

More information: Contact Andy Larson at 402-658-8057 or alarson@cfosystemsllc.com, or go to jabowlathon.org.

VAIL — Think of it as Bowling for Dollars, and you’ll do fine.

The local Junior Achievement group is hosting the Bowl-A-Thon because they don’t ask for money; the young entrepreneurs find ways to earn it.

The Vail event is one of many bowl-a-thons around the country and 16 in Colorado. Bowlers in our state raised more than $1 million last year.

“It’s a real opportunity for companies and people to enjoy a team-building environment. It’s a good event for a great cause,” said Kim McGrigg, Junior Achievement communications director, based in Denver.

It’s bowling, so you can do it in any weather.

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Achievement achievers

Andy Larson started volunteering with Junior Achievement when he lived in Nebraska. When he moved to Vail and tried to plug into local schools, he was told they had never done that here.

Now they do. Larson and Kevin Armitage founded the original local board of directors.

This year, more than 4,000 local school kids will learn the tools they really need to succeed in business from local business leaders.

The local Junior Achievement chapter now offers 80 classes to kids from kindergarten through high school seniors focusing on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness, and all of the classes are taught by local business leaders.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to grow it from nothing to this,” Larson said.

Larson also started a new business, so he’s practicing what he preaches.

“The goal is to get more of our programs in front of as many students as possible,” Larson said.

Why kids need this

Kids often sit in class and insist, as we all did, that they don’t need this, whatever “this” is. They’re occasionally correct. Even if you threaten them at knifepoint, you can’t make kids care if their participles dangle.

“You can bring in an aerospace engineer and they’ll care about science, because it’s suddenly real,” McGrigg said. “Junior Achievement explains to them why it’s important, how they’ll use this later.”

Kate Turnipseed is a fan.

“We scheduled the program to coordinate with our final math unit of the year… . It could not have been a better match,” said the fifth-grade teacher at Eagle’s Brush Creek Elementary School. “I have been impressed by the quality of the materials, games and visuals provided … . It has been a pleasure for us to have the Junior Achievement instructors and program in our classrooms this year, and we look forward to having them back next spring.”

Life tools

Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization that brings role models into classrooms to helps teach students, kindergarten through high school seniors, how to succeed in life.

They begin with teaching the youngest kids about the differences between needs and wants and how to handle their money. They progress through teaching high school students how to launch and manage their own businesses.

Money raised through this event help bring entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-readiness programs to local schools at no cost.

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