Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa is proud to announce a $5,000 grant from Veridian® Credit Union that will provide over 146 Eastern Iowa students with financial literacy educational programs during the 2017-2018 school year. Through a series of hands-on learning activities students in kindergarten through 12th grade will learn the importance of budgeting, saving, investing, and spending money wisely. Junior Achievement (JA) brings volunteer role models from the community into classrooms to share their experiences with young people. Using JA’s proven programs, the volunteers help students better understand how money works through JA’s financial literacy curriculum.

Junior Achievement recognizes that educators are responsible for ensuring that their classroom curriculum aligns with Iowa Core standards, which includes financial literacy education. Junior Achievement helps schools meet this requirement through the organization’s hands-on learning activities that help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and manage it. Throughout the school year, Junior Achievement programs are scheduled with schools to complement classroom efforts in meeting the Iowa Core requirements. Through Junior Achievement’s financial management programs that include JA Our City®, JA Economics for Success®, and JA Finance Park® Virtual implemented during key stages at the elementary, middle, and high school grades, educators are able to meet the state requirements for financial literacy. The education that Junior Achievement offers is not based solely on a textbook course. Instead, students are immersed in real-life learning experiences where they have an opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.

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The JA Our City® program is implemented at the elementary school level and introduces students to the characteristics of cities and money management. In middle school, students continue the financial management theme. Students discover how to set goals for their financial future in the

JA Economics for Success® program. Through a series of activities students learn how education, career choice, and finances are connected. The organization’s high school programs bring everything together. JA Finance Park® Virtual is a month long program that introduces personal financial planning and career exploration.

The JA Finance Park® Virtual program is split into five theme-based sessions; income, saving, investing, and risk management, debit and credit, budget, and finally simulation. During the computer-based simulation, students receive family scenarios complete with job title, marital and family status, income existing savings, and existing debt. Then they visit virtual businesses to explore their options and better understand the items and go shopping. The students must purchase items to meet the needs of their family, such as insurance, clothing, transportation, housing, groceries, and childcare without spending more than they earn.

“Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa appreciates Veridian® Credit Union- not only for their generous gift, but for also helping individuals of all ages meet their financial goals and become financially independent,” said Christine Landa, President of Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa.

The gift from Veridian® Credit Union will help Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa purchase all of the materials that volunteers will need to educate 146 Eastern Iowa students this school year. The 21 programs include lesson guides and online materials that will engage students to develop, plan and set goals to help protect them from unexpected financial pitfalls, giving them a solid base from which to make important financial decisions. JA’s programs align with various national standards which includes the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, the National Council for the Social Studies Curriculum Standards, and the Iowa Department of Education.

About Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa (JAEI) Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the global economy through work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy educational programs. JAEI’s programs are delivered by 1,397 local volunteers that can provide students with real-world examples of how obstacles can be overcome and success achieved. JAEI provides its programs to 47,665 students throughout Eastern Iowa which includes Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Grundy, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, and Linn counties. During the 2015-2016 school year, the organization expanded its reach to Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Tama, and Winneshiek counties through distance learning. For more information, visit www.JAEasternIowa.org.