The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary Club is actively involved in bring the Junior Achievement (JA) program into Lincoln County. JA is an international organization that seeks to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy through a variety of programs aimed at young people in grades K-12. JA and Rotary share a common desire to help young people be prepared to succeed as they progress into adulthood.
After participating in an International project supporting a JA program in Guatemala, several members of the Club joined together to pursue bringing JA to Lincoln County. The Lincoln County JA Board of Directors was formed in 2004, consisting primarily of Rotary Club members and Lincoln County School System staff, and began working with JA and the Lincoln County School System to bring a JA program into the local schools.
The Board decided to begin in the elementary schools with the third grade JA program. The first sessions were done in the fall of 2005 in the third grade classes in eastern Lincoln County, with the majority of the classroom volunteers being members of the Rotary Club.
The program was well received and, with the support of the Lincoln County School Board, it was decided to offer the program to all third grade classes in the Lincoln County School system. From the 2006/2007 school year to the 2014/2015 school year, all third grade classes in the Lincoln County School System have been offered the JA Third Grade program, with nearly 1,000 students each year participating.
Beginning with the 2015/2016 school year, the Lincoln County JA Board determined that the JA program would fit more appropriately with the 4th grade schedule. Beginning in September 2015, the fourth grade JA program will be offered to all 4th grade classrooms in the Lincoln County. Opportunities to volunteer for this program may be found at https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-carolinas/lincoln-county.
The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary Club provides significant financial support annually for this JA program and participates in fundraising activities for JA. Members of the Club continue to participate as classroom volunteers and members of the Lincoln County JA Board of Directors.