At Capital One/Junior Achievement (JA) Fiinance Park, middle school students receive eye-opening lessons in what it takes to budget for ‘adult’ financial obligations. These responsibilities include monthly mortgage payments, car insurance costs, grocery bills, childcare fees and much more.
From Oct. 12 through Dec. 16, students in the Finance Park budget simulation program will encounter these and other real-life budgeting scenarios designed to increase awareness of not only the importance of financial literacy, but also academic achievement and responsibility. Simulations begin at 9 a.m.
Sponsored by Capital One Financial Corporation, 21 Clark County schools—up from 16 inn 2015—will participate during the 40-day simulation run, which will host up to 100 students daily and see more than 800 volunteers guiding students through the personal budgeting simulation. Volunteer positions are still available; volunteer inquiries may be made by calling (702) 214-0500.
JA Finance Park includes hands-on activities taught in a 12-lesson classroom program, followed by a visit to Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park. Students are given real-life scenarios for which they need to make relevant money-management decisions:
- Should they buy a pricey sports car or a practical minivan?
- How much money should they put in a savings account?
- What kind of housing can they realistically afford?
Ultimately, they will make 24 different financial decisions throughout the day, all designed to teach the value of saving, investing, risk management and budgeting, among other skills that increase their financial literacy and business skills.
“In this program, students have the rare opportunity to consider what it’s really like to be an adult. They will understand how different financial scenarios—for example, being married with a high income and college ddebt, or being a single parent with a low income and three kids—”would affect their ability to spend money and impact their lives. The budget-management strategies learned in the classroom will be applied during their day at Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park,” says Michelle Jackson, president, Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada.
Since the program debuted in 2013 in Southern Nevada, the duration of the program and number of participating students has more than doubled from the initial 16-day program with 1,899 students. Across the country since 2006, more than 460,000 students have participated in JA Finance Park, assisted by more than 16,000 Capital One associate volunteers.
This year’s participating schools include (in alphabetical order):
- James Cashman Middle School
- CornerStone Christian Academy
- Alexander Dawson School
- Discovery Charter School
- Equipo Academy
- St. Francis de Sales School
- Robert O. Gibson Middle School
- Henderson International School
- Las Vegas Day School
- Jerome Mack Middle School
- Mario C. and Joanne Monaco Middle School
- Mater Academy
- Pinecrest Academy – Cadence
- Pinecrest Academy – Horizon
- Pinecrest Academy – Inspirada
- Pinecrest Academy – St. Rose
- Dell H. Robison Middle School
- Grant Sawyer Middle School
- Charles Silvestri Junior High SchJ.D. Smith Middle Schoo
- West Preparatory Academy
For members of the public interested in seeing JA Finance Park firsthand, open houses will be available in November and December with dates to be announced shortly. The program will take place at the Las Vegas Library, 833 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109.
Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, Inc. was founded locally in 1996. The organization is dedicated to providing financial education to students K-12, with a curriculum that spans from budget management to economic principals, workforce skills and credit. Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada reaches more than 20,000 students annually in the Las Vegas area with the help of 285 businesses and 6,800 business role models. For more information visit www.JALasVegas.org and follow on Twitter and Facebook.