Preparing Business Leaders of Tomorrow

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As a first glance into the workforce, fifth-grade students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School participated in a full-day field trip to the Commerce Plaza in Levittown. It is a simulated business community that promotes understanding of the world of business and its economics while meeting New York State Learning Standards.

Prior to the trip, students took part in a six-week     preparation cycle that introduced them to the Commerce Plaza Curriculum and basic principles of economics. Funded by a Capital One grant, students traveled to the center for a unique activity-based experience.

With the support of local businesses, Hofstra University and United Way of Long Island, students chose from a variety of industries ranging from banking, news media to public service. Upon arriving at the business center, each student assumed a specific role in the business community that allows them to apply life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication and teamwork. In this work environment, students learned business operations, banking skills such as writing checks and balancing checkbooks, applying for bank loans and completing job applications.

While immersed in the business community, instructors facilitated and guided the students through their experiences, ensuring they successfully applied their knowledge and put their skills to practice. With funding from the New York State Department of Education’s School of Work Initiative in 2000, Commerce Plaza was founded to help provide students with practical experience in their preparation for the workforce.