The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 36 - June 26, 2013


Junior Achievement students graduate

HOLMES BEACH – Second-, third- and fifth-graders who participated in the Junior Achievement (JA) program this school year received certificates in their classrooms recently at Anna Maria Elementary School.

Junior Achievement Education Program Manager Jim Brown and American Association of University Women (AAUW) representative Sylvia Price were present along with Manatee County School Board member and attorney Dave Miner and Susan Cruse, of Gateway Bank, spoke at the ceremony in Sally Jackson’s fifth-grade class.

Cruse spoke to the students about job interviews and how to make a good impression. She said they should dress well and they might want to think twice about getting a tattoo or wearing body piercing before an interview because it might make a wrong impression.

Then she showed everyone how to make a good first impression by looking the other person in the eye and shaking hands with strong confidence. She shook every student’s hand to demonstrate.

As is the case every year, the students were asked to make a semicircle around Brown, and he passed out a card to each student with the name of a city or country.

The exercise centered on a fictional American car manufacturer and how parts are made in foreign countries and shipped to the factory for assembly. As the manufacturer bought parts or services from one country, a string was unraveled to the student representing that country and then from one country to another. It soon looked like a spider web.

Finally, a group of students talked about their project for the year, Hippo Houses, a construction company that could build almost anything such as houses, slides, outdoor play accessories and more.

One student played a customer coming in, looking over samples, selecting a product and expressing satisfaction with the transaction.

Other future businesspeople talked about the fundamentals of manufacturing, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“What I really love is we’re thinking about our future possibilities here,”

JA is committed to educating students regarding entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through supervised learning experiences. The purpose of JA is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Volunteers who taught the JA curriculums were Pat Hickey, Adam Ksiazek, Major Leckie, Erma McMullen, Sylvia Price and Janet Stokes.

Erma McMullen and Janet Stokes taught their second-grade students “How does a Community Work?” The students identified a variety of job opportunities; businesses, government, services and decision-making supported each of the sessions presented.

McMullen noted that this class with Mrs. Goen’s students was more of a challenge due to the wider spectrum of intellectual capabilities. For example, the JA materials were more toward a middle level and she did not feel a comfort zone in her ability to adapt and reach out to all.

Whereas, Stokes indicated that things went better than ever in that Ms. Newhall's class was so attentive and eager to take part. She believes the lesson is perfect for second graders. She stated, “Please don't make any changes to the program. I look forward to next year.”

Adam Ksiazek presented the JA program "Our City" to Ms. Brockway’s third-grade class. He enjoyed their enthusiasm and participation in the planning of a city. They learned about zoning, housing, farming, banking and newspapers and set their city on a large map.

He wore his volunteer De Soto Memorial uniform to class and gave all a Jr. Ranger book. Which, when completed entitles them to a become Jr. Ranger.

A highlight was a question when a student asked, "How old are you?" He said, "How old do you think I am?" Her answer was 37. He was truthful and said, "81."

On the final day the children surprised him with thank you cards written by them with illustrations and notes of thanks. It was appreciated.

Pat Hickey worked with Dr. Redeker and Ms. Ellsworth who combined their two third-grade classes meeting everyday for a week. The students learned the importance of a city planner and builder, designed streets and zones: where to place residential areas, businesses, government buildings, parks and the airport.

They also learned the importance of careful measurement. By the end of the week, everything was in place, and they felt a true sense of achievement. Their city was finished.

Ray school

There’s no use denying it – there are some scary things out there in the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s red tide, water spouts, oil spills, and – as anyone who’s taken a parasailing trip can tell you – sharks.

But there’s no use worrying about sharks, because most of the time, whatever you saw is not a shark.

Here in Manatee County, especially this time of year, it’s often a manatee – a shark-gray, shark-sized beast that breaks the surface with its snout to breathe and tips its tail up, resembling a fin.

More often, people are fooled by a small member of the shark family that’s only a shark wannabe.

What looks like two small shark fins breaking the surface of the water a foot or two apart are often the two wingtips of a single cownose ray.

This time of year, and all the way through October, they swim alone near shore, or – like cows – in herds, which can look more like a school of sharks than a law school reunion.

If you find yourself in the middle of a bunch of rays, don’t panic. They’re not aggressive, they will not bill you by the quarter hour, and they will swim around you.

But just as you wouldn’t pull a cow’s tail, don’t pull a cownose ray’s tail either – they’re stingers. So if you want to pet their velvety hide, take a trip to the touch tank at Mote Marine Aquarium, where the barbs have been removed.

And to avoid the barbs of other types of rays that prefer to stay on the Gulf bottom, like Atlantic and Southern stingrays, do the stingray shuffle and shuffle your feet to scare them away.

Remember, to them, you’re one of the scary things in the Gulf of Mexico.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper