JA Our City®


JA Our City<sup>®</sup>

JA Our City featuring Cha-Ching™ introduces students to financial literacy and learning objectives for third–grade social studies, including how people manage their money and the importance of economic exchange within a city. Dr. Alice Wilder, an award-winning expert on childhood learning (Blue's Clues, Super Why, Cha-Ching, Speakaboos, and Amazon Kids original programming), consulted on the program's redevelopment.

Following participation in the program, students will be able to:
  • Explain the choices people have with money.
  • Recognize methods of payment and whether they are readily visible or invisible.
  • Examine the importance of money to a city and its citizens.
  • Describe how entrepreneurial businesses meet the needs and wants of citizens.
New features include:
  • Cha-Ching financial literacy music videos
  • Optional augmented reality activities to do at home with parents or caregivers, enabling students to complete a word search or maze or watch a video through a phone app
  • Digital posters and games for use in the classroom
  • Extended Learning Opportunities

The program is for students in third grade. It is composed of five sessions, and the average length of each session is 45 minutes. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 30 students.

JA programs correlate to state social studies, English, and math standards, and to the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics.

Junior Achievement USA gratefully acknowledges Jackson Charitable Foundation for its dedication to the development and implementation of JA Our City.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based Elementary School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Banking, business, business decisions, circular flow of money, city, city planner, consumer, currency, deposit, economic development, entrepreneur, goods, government, income, interdependence, jobs, making payments, money choices, producer, save, savings, savings account, services, spend, taxes, transaction, withdrawal Brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, decision making, developing ideas, drawing conclusions, evaluating payment types, following directions, listening, making choices, making observations, mapping information, planning a business, problem solving, reading, teamwork, verbal communication, working in groups, writing

Program Sessions

Session One: Earn, Save, Spend, and Donate

Students develop an awareness of the four choices they have with money: earn, save, spend, and donate. In the session, students watch and discuss Cha-Ching's "Money Choices" music video and play a board game to reinforce the importance of balancing the choices consumers have with money.

Session Two: Invisible Money

Students learn about the different forms of money and how people use them to pay for goods and services. In the session, students watch and discuss Cha-Ching's "Invisible Money" music video and examine the Many Ways to Pay! Poster.

Session Three: How Do I Become an Entrepreneur?

Students develop an understanding of entrepreneurship and are introduced to the idea that entrepreneurs promote a healthy economy within a city. In the session, students watch and discuss Cha-Ching's "Entrepreneur" music video, and become business owners, creating business plans for a restaurant of their choosing.

Session Four: Money Choices Make the City Go Round

Students examine the importance of money as it travels back and forth between consumers, businesses, and the city
government. In the session, students watch and discuss Cha-Ching's "When You Get Money" music video and role-play how money moves in a city.

Session Five: Let's Build a City!

A city thrives when all three sectors of the economy earn, save, spend, and donate. In the session, students watch and discuss Cha-Ching's "Cha-Cha Choices" music video and design and construct a pop-up business to place on the City Map.