JA Finance Park®
Teens rarely think about buying health insurance, or evaluating investment choices. At JA Finance Park® they do! JA Finance Park, combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully interactive, simulated town. Students in grades 7-12 are introduced to personal finance and career exploration. They receive family and income scenarios, then visit 19 businesses to purchase things like insurance, clothing, food, transportation and real estate. They create a budget, allocate expenses and make personal investments. Students are the sole providers for a family and must accommodate the needs of the family without overspending. Educators assist student learning by preparing students before the day and summarizing the experience through post visit activities.
JA Finance Park is correlated to Common Core Standards and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. JA Finance Park is proven to advance students' knowledge, skill, attitude, and achievement.
Students Learn About:
- Credit and debt
- Opportunity costs
- Interest rates
- Income and expenses
- Needs and wants
- Risks and benefits of credit
- Saving and investing
- Successful budgeting
- Personal abilities, career interests, work preferences, and values
- Real-life, interactive simulation
- First-rate learning strategies
- Partnership between schools, parents, and the business community
- Memorable educational experience
- Active, rather than passive learning
- Real, rather than imagined experiences
- Turn-key classroom program and materials created with teacher
- input and provided by JA
- Aligned with Common Core Standards and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards
- Teacher training and professional development
- Incorporates classroom learning with a full-day simulation in a state-of-the art immersive learning center
JA Finance Park Works!
Local, independent evaluation results confirm that when given the opportunity to apply concepts to a real-life scenario, young people are able to make essential connections for deeper understanding.
95% of students now understand the importance of staying in school and getting an education.
93% of students agreed that they need to stay in school to get a good job in order to have financial success as an adult.
93% of students agreed that JA Finance Park has prepared them for their future.
100% of teachers agreed that after their JA Finance Park experience, students now are more likely to continue their education and choose a career based on their interests and abilities.
100% of teachers responded they felt the JA Finance Park program helped them meet curricular objectives and standards.
JA Finance Park is proven to have a positive impact on student attitudes toward school.
The majority of participating teachers agree JA Finance Park contains valuable concepts that further students' awareness of necessary life skills. JA Finance Park encourages their creativity and imagination, holds their attention, results in a high level of student participation and is age appropriate.
JA Finance Park starts in the classroom. Then students visit Junior Achievement for a day to experience our simulated town. JA Finance Park is located at:
Junior Achievement Kohl's Education Center
11111 W. Liberty Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53224
Community First Career Exploration and Financial Literacy Center
11 Tri-Park Way
Appleton, WI 54914
VOLUNTEERING AT JA FINANCE PARK
Volunteers are needed to help assist students as they create a budget, allocate expenses, and make personal investments during their visit to JA Finance Park. This is a one-day commitment.
Volunteers' Roles and Responsibilities
- 17 – 20 volunteers are needed each day
- Volunteers work with 6 – 12 students
- Volunteers receive training (provided by JA) that will prepare them for the experience
- Volunteer training is held 1 hour prior to student arrival. Arrival times vary.
- Student simulation begins approximately at 9 am and concludes around 2 pm.
- Work with students and teachers in ways that are positive, meaningful, and productive.
- You have a chance to increase young people's knowledge about careers, work day experiences, personal finance, and values.
"Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."
"Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."
"I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."
"I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."