New JA Program Teaches Students to Earn, Save, Spend & Donate - JA In The News | Junior Achievement of Chicago

JA is Really Newsworthy!

« Back

New JA Program Teaches Students to Earn, Save, Spend & Donate

Junior Achievement of Chicago is launching the newly designed elementary school program, JA Our City featuring Cha-ChingTM, made possible by the generosity of Jackson Charitable Foundation. 

The upgraded program incorporates the Foundation’s signature program, Cha-ChingTM Money Smart Kids, which is a series of three-minute music videos about making real-world money decisions. JA and the Foundation’s partnership integrated Cha-Ching videos and lessons into the JA Our City entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-preparedness program, which is taught in classrooms to approximately 450,000 third-grade students across the country annually.  To inspire financial learning beyond the classroom, the program includes take-home activities for kids and their parents.

A survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Junior Achievement and the Jackson Charitable Foundation revealed that when it comes to money, kids as old as 10 admit they still have a lot to learn.

According to the JA-Jackson Children’s Financial Literacy Survey which included 500 children seven to 10 years of age and their parents, 33 percent of the young respondents haven’t been taught how to earn money, 41 percent haven’t been taught how to spend money, and 47 percent have not learned how to give money to help people. When asked why they think people put money in a bank, only 53 percent selected the answer of saving it so they won’t spend it. Only 25 percent know you can earn interest on savings.

“The message to parents is simple,” said Maria Ramos, VP of City Operations for JA of Chicago. “It’s never too early to teach your children the short and long-term rewards of saving and spending money wisely.”

The results also demonstrate kids’ awareness about and interest in money, even at a young age. When asked how people earn money, 91 percent of kids responded that people get money from working at a job. Fifty-five percent of kids say they are excited when adults talk about money. Most are knowledgeable about the basics of money, including how to count and save money – likely, in part, due to 82 percent of kids earning an allowance for doing chores, earning good grades, completing homework and simply being kind to others.

 “When it comes to kids and their financial futures, we must begin by encouraging more conversations about the choices we all have around money,” said Jackson Charitable Foundation Executive Director Danielle Robinson. “Adults have the ability to pass along advice and guidance to young people about how to earn, save, spend and donate money — this advice can be life-changing. Jackson Charitable Foundation is thrilled to partner with Junior Achievement to spark more of those important conversations at home and in the classroom.”

According to the survey, parents are open to discussion. The majority (77 percent) believe that money is the easiest to explain to their child, compared to other topics kids inquire about such as where babies come from, death and even politics. The same percentage (77 percent) of parents feel the best place for children to learn the basics of personal finance is at home, at the average age of eight years old and as young as five. And, 92 percent of parents are themselves saving money – for emergencies, college tuition and retirement, followed by vacations and cars and other large purchases.


The Junior Achievement-Jackson Financial Literacy Surveys were conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 500 U.S. children ages 7-10 and 500 parents of U.S. children ages 7-10, between March 21 and March 27, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey. 

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.  For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points in each audience from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Trackback URL:

No comments yet. Be the first.

Press Releases & Media 

JA USA® Press Releases

Media Center



  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

Get Involved!

Junior Achievement
of Chicago

Donate Now    Volunteer    Request a