IKEA Donates $13,700+ Makeover of Junior Achievement’s Mini-City Learning Facility that More Than 6,000 Maryland Elementary Students Will Visit This School Year

Continuing its support for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA), IKEA Baltimore has given the non-profit an extreme makeover.

Through its 2012 IKEA Life Improvement Project, the home furnishings retailer has donated $13,757 in furniture and labor costs to remodel the city hall and kitchen/café areas of the JA BizTown educational facility housed in the non-profit’s Owings Mills headquarters.

“IKEA has two avenues of donation, children’s education and environmental causes, and Junior Achievement of Central Maryland was the perfect fit for this contribution,” said Bill Meiswinkel, IKEA Baltimore’s public relations manager.

“For years, Junior Achievement has successfully educated children on how to make sound financial decisions, and we were delighted to designate JA as our 2012 project recipient,” he added, noting that IKEA previously has participated in local JA Bowl-A-Thons, as well as the national Capstone Summit.

About JA BizTown
Taught in 80 schools throughout Central Maryland, JA BizTown is an experiential economic simulation that helps fourth through sixth grade students prepare for and become productive citizens. Following four weeks of in-class instruction, the program culminates in a visit to JA’s replica of a 10,000-square-foot American city.

This school year, more than 6,000 students will spend the day running this colorful and bustling town, which has its own retail stores, healthcare center, newspaper office and radio station. A total of 14 enterprises are outfitted with modern office technology, equipment and supplies. Role playing what life may be like when they are adults, the students will vote, operate companies, conduct bank business and more!

The Renovations
IKEA worked with Junior Achievement to modernize the city hall and kitchen/café areas, and make them lighter, brighter and more accessible.

City Hall
Old City Hall had traditional dark wood furniture, with the mayor’s desk up on a platform and a long workspace area along the wall that did not provide much function.

Now, the mayor sits on the same level as everyone else in a high-back executive chair and the GALANT series modular wrap-around desk in birch. An iconic map of the Baltimore Harbor skyline and a world map complement the lighter color palette.

Additionally, three separate work stations with modern office chairs encourage productivity, while a functional storage shelf and recycling station offer easy access for all.

This area previously seemed crowded with a service counter that limited mobility, and a bar along the window that forced students to look outward. Also, cupboards and storage wardrobes were too shallow.

With white décor for an airier feel, the new and improved space features a kitchen island that allows for effective traffic flow. BIILSTA bar tables offer a more practical way to eat with tables facing inward. And, there’s much more storage with the AKURUM kitchen, 23-inch deep PAX wardrobe system and RED EXPEDIT unit with LEKMAN plastic storage boxes.

“We are grateful to IKEA staff members for selecting us for such a significant in-kind contribution this year,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, president of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “The clean lines of the kitchen design and new furniture gave our café and City Hall an updated, contemporary look that enhances the BizTown experience.”

“Thanks to generous sponsors like IKEA, we can ensure that our facility stays up-to-date so our students and volunteers can enjoy the program for years to come,” she added.

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for kindergarten through 12th grade students which focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Founded in 1957, the non-profit organization annually serves more than 33,000 students throughout Central Maryland. For more information, visit www.jamaryland.org.

1667b- Rodney Whitacre (IKEA Baltimore’s administration manager (Left) and Dannielle Ellington (IKEA Baltimore’s store manager) (Right), cut the ribbon with the “mayor,” Tyler Liberto (a Severna Park Elementary fifth grader (Center), in front of JA BizTown’s newly renovated City Hall.

1670b- Rodney Whitacre (IKEA Baltimore’s administration manager  (Left), Laura Weaver (IKEA Baltimore’s interior design manager, (Left Middle),  the “mayor,” Tyler Liberto (a Severna Park Elementary fifth grader (Center), Erin Bishop (JA BizTown staff member) (Right Middle), and Dannielle Ellington IKEA Baltimore’s store manager (Right), cut the ribbon in front of the newly renovated JA BizTown Café. 

1683 - Severna Park Elementary students: Tyler Liberto, the mayor of JA BizTown (Left), meets with constituents, Kayla Shabow (Left Middle), Elle Carson (Right Middle), and Abbi Jones (Right).

1697b- Severna Park Elementary School students gather for their opening town meeting in JA BizTown.

1698 - Severna Park Elementary School students dine in the newly renovated JA BizTown Café.  


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