Vermillion Lions learn about JA

Vermillion Lions learn about JA The June 16 meeting of the local Lion�s Club was called to order by President Barbara Campbell. Lion Jacquie Lonning introduced Roy Kammer as her guest. Special guest, Joel Padmore, was welcomed as a long-time member of Lions. The VFW ladies were thanked for their many years of serving meals to the Lions at the bi-monthly meetings.

As a token of appreciation, a donation was made to the Welcome Table. Lion Jacquie Lonning thanked the group for their support and participation in the recent HOBY Project. The Lions had served Saturday morning�s breakfast and several members had served as supervisor for the various service projects throughout Vermillion.

Alex�s Lemonade stand so far has totaled $600 in donations. The members who had served Monday�s Welcome Table meeting were thanked. Gloria Christopherson, incoming president, noted that the final meeting will take place at the Eagles at 6 p.m. and will be a surprise party. She also passed a sign-up sheet with committee opportunities. Lion Marion Kryger will head a group of volunteers on June 17 at 9 a.m. to clear the VFW meeting room.

Due to the sale of the VFW building, the Lions will be meeting in a new location, which will be announced soon. President Barbara Campbell commended the membership committee whose work has resulted in 10 new members this calendar year.

President Campbell introduced Roger Kozak to Carrie Jensen, fourth grade teacher, who spoke about the Junior Achievement project in Vermillion. The Junior Achievement project was begun in 1919; however, South Dakota did not participate until 1968 and Vermillion did not participate until 2003. Since that time, JA has been included in the fourth grades in all schools.

Vermillion is one of 19 South Dakota communities that participate in JA and the number of students, statewide, has grown in 10 years from 5,000 to 30,000. Next year, the second grades will begin participation and long-term plans see middle school participation. The Junior Achievement project is included in the high school.

Kozak mentioned that he would like to increase the number of individuals on the board to at least 15, which would always ensure adequate number attending planning meetings. The purpose of JA is to educate and inspire young people to understand free enterprise.

Ms. Jensen emphasized that volunteers visit the classroom for five sessions and the concepts that are included in the presentations are aligned with state standards. Next year, she looks to over 200 local students participating as the program will include the second and fourth grades in Austin, Jolley, and St. Agnes. Eventually the program will be integrated into the Middle School. Because 90 percent of local funding is already in place, the state will furnish the dollars necessary for expanding JA to the second grades.

Ms. Jensen also explained how the volunteer presentations are integrated into the units that she includes in her classes to meet standards; she also mentioned that the test scores in social studies had risen and credited the presence of JA in her classes. Both Dr. Kozak and Ms. Jensen emphasized the opportunities for volunteering with this program.

The meeting was adjourned with announcements regarding the remainder of activities for this year and reminders about the next board meetings and surprise party.

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