1,000 Fourth-Graders Getting Training from Volunteer Accountants
Carolyn Bower Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Ask 9-year-old Danny Stumpf about accounting, and he'll show you an orange frisbee and green sunglasses.
Stumpf won his prizes recently after successfully completing a business account sheet during a project sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Several dozen accountants have volunteered to visit 1,000 fourth-graders in five school districts this spring in a pilot project called Be Something in Life That Counts. The project began with a visit to Danny's class at Gotsch Intermediate School in the Affton School District by two accountants, Tammy Gershman and G. Scott Engelbrecht.
"Kids want jobs that sound fun, jobs they hear about every day, jobs such as sports players or police officers," Gershman said. "We want to show kids accounting can be as stimulating as putting someone in jail or scoring a goal."
Engelbrecht told students that accountants helped companies such as McDonald's decide how much to charge for french fries to cover expenses and make a profit.
When he passed out copies of annual reports for companies such as McDonald's, Nike and Reebok, the fourth-graders responded with a drawn-out "oh." Engelbrecht and Gershman distributed copies of an account sheet for a fictional dog-walking company. Ruth Christopherson, a retired Ladue teacher, designed the exercise. On top of the account sheet appear tiny scraps of paper with records of expenses and income. …