NEW PORT RICHEY — Deer Park Elementary students, c’mon down! You are the next contestants to learn about business in Junior Achievement.
Greg Giordano might not have said those exact words to introduce his JA lesson to Susan Foster’s fifth-grade class last week.
But the veteran JA instructor whipped up a lot of enthusiasm among the eager pupils, in much the same manner as frenzied audiences of the popular “Price Is Right” TV game show.
Giordano walked the students through the creation of a mythical ice cream shop as a sole proprietorship with a single location, a partnership with several stores and then a corporation selling stock as the company boomed with franchises.
The audience participation game uses stickers to designate employees, owners, stockholders and other players in the business.
Students learned about hiring and firing people, assigning managers for expansion stores and sharing the profits — or losses.
Before the lesson, Giordano said he felt a bit old after telling the students he has been teaching JA for a quarter of a century.
Giordano has served the longest as a Pasco JA instructor, starting in 1988 when he was a Domino’s Pizza store manager. He also directed the Pasco program and other volunteer instructors here for many years.
When Fasano was appointed Pasco tax collector, Giordano also made the jump, becoming director of customer relations for the Tax Collector’s Office.
Students often are amazed at some of the facts about businesses, Giordano noted. If a pizza sells for $10, the business might make only about $1 in profit, for instance.
Giordano often acts as a referee as fifth-graders become embroiled in arguments between “management” and “stockholders” in imaginary companies.
He appeared for four straight days last week with various lessons at Deer Park as he launched his 26th year in Junior Achievement.
The motto that appears on the JA sign in the classroom emphasizes “work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy” — with a large, heaping helping of fun thrown into the mix.