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The Sevier County School System is pleased to announce a partnership with SmartBank to provide every fifth grader with the opportunity to participate in Junior Achievement BizTown. Through daily lessons, hands-on activities, and active participation in a simulated community called BizTown, students develop a strong understanding of the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a local economy. Junior Achievement BizTown encompasses important elements of community and economy, work readiness, financial literacy, and business management.

SmartBank has agreed to lead the effort to underwrite the cost for approximately 1,100 Sevier County fifth graders to participate in this beneficial program. In addition, SmartBank will support the implementation of the program by providing a core group of volunteers to facilitate the BizTown visit. At BizTown, each student will assume a job, produce and/or sell products, receive a paycheck, work on a business team, repay a business loan, shop, and manage a personal bank account. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills to learn about key economic concepts as they explore and enhance their understanding of free enterprise.

Dr. Jack A. Parton, Director of Schools, states, “I am excited that the fifth graders of our school system will have this great opportunity to participate in such a unique educational experience. Through the generosity and community spirit of SmartBank’s Board of Directors, each participating student will engage in the development and application of skills that can positively impact them throughout life. This partnership between the Sevier County School System and SmartBank is an example of how the school system and community businesses can work together to make sure that our youngsters have the type of education that prepares them to be good citizens of our county, state, nation, and world.”

SmartBank President & CEO, Billy Carroll, stated “we are thrilled to partner with The Sevier County School System to provide this opportunity to so many deserving students. I believe this program will create an entrepreneurial spirit in these young people that will benefit them years down the road. Our Board of Directors and associates stand behind this commitment, and are excited about the partnership and relationships that we will build with these students.”

SmartBank opened in January 2007, and just celebrated their first anniversary passing the $150 million mark in assets, making it one of the nation’s fastest growing new financial institutions.