LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With 2 weeks left in the summer, children are using their final days wisely. Teachers on the other hand are already working, looking at ways to improve the classroom experience.
One of those ways is through the Junior Achievement program. The program uses soft learning skills and volunteers to teach hands on learning during the school day.
"Part of house Bill five is the community engagement piece," Lufkin ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney said. "They are coming in and teaching our kids soft skills and things they will not learn through a curriculum or in college."
Last year, the group offered 259 educational programs to Angelina county schools. Diboll ISD was the only district to offer the JA programs to every grade level. On Monday, district leaders met with JA volunteers to see how the program can be improved.
"I saw the kids having conversations in the classroom," Diboll Vice Superintendent Daniel lopez said. "I saw the kids having conversations on what was covered in the classroom. I saw them having conversations with the parents."
Diboll was able to share their opinions on how other schools could make the program work on a larger scale.
"It was exciting today because I was able to hear what they are doing in their districts and thinking of the ways we can expand the JA program in our district," Goffney said.
After last year's success the program is trying to meet new demands. Junior Achievement is working on expanding the high school program and has applied for additional grant money for the lower levels.
"We're super excited to hear the increase in program demands," Junior Achievement Executive Director Michelle Green said. "It does mean we have more needs ourselves. We need more volunteers to meet these needs."
The schools are also pushing for more volunteers.
"Volunteer at the lower grade levels," Lopez said. "Those kids will love you. When they see you, they will come up and hug you and they will still talk about the things they learned in the class room that they learned from you."
It's help that can change the future of the next generation of leaders.
To learn how to volunteer with the group, click here.