Junior Achievement will be hosting at 5K Stars and Stripes Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Lakeside Fitness, 1309 Harkless Dr., Syracuse.
The race, which will offer awards to the top three contestants in each age group, will benefit Junior Achievement, a program that helps teach students in grades K-12 about personal and business finance. Junior Achievement raises approximately $25,000 per year to fund their efforts in Kosciusko County.
According to Junior Achievement Development Manager Vicky Decker, the program teaches students the significance of personal finance, economics, credit cards, taxes and budgeting as well providing students with business finance skills. The program provides a five to six week course for students that is entirely taught by program provided volunteers. Decker states that Junior Achievement is present in Milford, Syracuse, and North Webster schools and that the Junior Achievement’s Regional Branch overseas operations in 25 counties.
In addition, Junior Achievement offers Wawasee High School students a fully funded economics course. Decker states that many students in the economics course have developed their finance skills and have received internships with various companies throughout the county. Though the courses do provide a wealth of knowledge, they are by no means meant to be tedious. Instead, courses implement games and fun activities to teach students the importance of finance.
Sponsors for the race include Lakeside Fitness, CTB, K21 Health Foundation and The Mail Journal. The race will be managed by Kosciusko Runners’ Association.
Decker says these 45 minute sessions have helped children understand the world of finance and how it relates to their lives in the present and future.
“The program has helped kids understand the bills and utilities their parents face. It helps children to understand why parents tell them that it may not be a good time for a purchase.”
The program also offers fifth and sixth grade students a program in Fort Wayne called “Biz-Town.” Biz-Town emulates real life situations for students by allowing students to interview for a job, receive a paycheck, and learn to pay bills and shop within their means.
Registration for the Stars and Stripes 5K Run/Walk benefitting Junior Achievement will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the race. Cost to register is $20 or $15 for those who preregister. Preregistrations received by May 10 will receive a guaranteed free T-shirt, those who register the day of the race will be granted shirts as they are available. Age groups for the participants are: children under 12; ages 13-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70+.
For more information on the race contact Missy Sorenson at 574-551-1691 or Brenda Peterson 574-834-2869. Preregistrations forms may be accessed here.