Innovative | Bold | Relevant
JA BizTown and JA Finance Park is all that, and more. These financial literacy laboratories exist to inspire and prepare youth to succeed. There is no question about it: Financial literacy and sound money management skills are essential to success. Today more than ever, young adults need a strong foundation for making intelligent, lifelong, personal financial decisions.
To improve the financial literacy of our future business leaders and employees, Junior Achievement has created an exciting reality-based learning environment for middle and high school students.
JA Finance Park and JA BizTown allows high-school and elementary grade students to see, touch, and live the experience of personal finance in a real-life setting of stores, shops, and financial institutions, by becoming "an adult for the day."
Elementary school students are not old enough to drive, work, or vote. But that doesn't stop them from operating banks, managing businesses, writing checks, investing in stocks, and earning a profit at JA BizTown!
The Donald O. Schnuck JA BizTown is a mini-city in which kids discover how the "real world" works. Each day, about 100 fifth or sixth graders become JA BizTown "citizens" where they work in one of 17 businesses, make financial decisions, pay taxes, and donate to charity. After four weeks of classroom lessons, students come to JA BizTown for the learning experience of their lives! Each citizen has a job for the day, gets paid twice, manages a checking account, shops, gets health check-ups, may be interviewed on TV and much more. The time spent at JA BizTown may be only one day, but the impact that this experiential learning provides will last a lifetime! Click on one of the links below for more information.
JA Finance Park
JA Finance Park gives 7th - 12th-grade students the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Upon entering the center, students receive a ‘life situation' with job, income, education, and family scenarios. Based on their adult persona, students visit businesses in the simulation to gather information to make financial decisions, such as managing a household budget, using banking services, and making purchasing and investment decisions while using tablet-based technology.
Bringing Education to Life
The experience begins in the classroom with four weeks of JA-provided curriculum that culminates with a day at JA Finance Park. The center is designed as an interactive marketplace representative of the local business community, including financial services, media, telecommunications, utilities, and more. The center is authentic and interactive to create a transformational experience for all students. See how JA Finance Park increases student financial capability
The goals of JA Finance Park and JA BizTown are to:
- Teach students to develop and follow a monthly budget
- Help students to research and understand the actual "costs of living" for the basic necessities of life
- Encourage students to develop and demonstrate personal responsibility for learning and self-management
- Communicate and work with schools to promote the highest level of student achievement
- Challenge students to think critically, creatively, analyze tasks, and solve problems
At JA Finance Park and JA BizTown, students are given a unique life profile after answering a series of future lifestyle questions. Their life profile includes an income, marital status, even kids! Using this new adult persona, students work to create a balanced monthly budget while making decisions regarding housing, transportation, insurance, savings, entertainment expenses and much more.
How You Can Participate
Volunteers are needed to mentor small groups of students throughout their day at JA Finance Park and JA BizTown. No special budgeting expertise is necessary and thorough training is provided for all volunteers!
For more information, please contact
JA Finance Park:
Email Lori Marsh
, JA Finance Park Manager, or call (636) 728-0707 ext 234
Email Joy Germeroth
, JA BizTown Manager, or call (636) 728-0707 ext 237
Junior Achievement's Summer Camp programs are a great way to continue JA participation after the school year. Campers visit our facility in Chesterfield for a week-long experience exploring ideas related to work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
JA Finance Park and JA BizTown are as successful as they due to the generous support of the companies that sponsor storefronts.
Need More Information?
Watch How a JA Finance Park Works!
Watch How a JA BizTown Works!