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Programs - JA Finance Park: Information for Educators


"Something that I’ve learned through my time here is to make sure I have a very good career because I will have to pay a lot of bills. I need to also work, now, on my budgets because I need to get in the habit of saving."
- Ya-Nassia, North Star Academy, Newark

"I also want to thank you for providing our students with such a wonderful experience…at Finance Park. The program was superbly organized and presented in a way that was both engaging and transformative for our students. Without exception, students commented on how much they had learned and enjoyed the day."
- Educator, Hillcrest Academy South







JA Finance Park Classroom Implementation:

18-40 hours of curriculum, 13 classroom lessons, 1 Simulated Experience

JANJ staff prepare teachers for program implementation:
  • JA staff trains educators on how to effectively deliver the curriculum in their classroom, and provides unlimited additional support throughout the school year. Teacher training takes 1 hour and can be done over the phone.
  • Each teacher receives a curriculum guide and a workbook for each student.
  • Project Based Learning (PBL) is also an available option…

    • This student driven method does not require student workbooks and focuses on individual research towards a final project.
    • PBL requires students to have access to computers/internet for each JA Finance Park lesson.

The JA Finance Park classroom curriculum covers personal financial knowledge:

  • Including savings, investing, and risk management, taxes, salary, net monthly income calculation and creation of an effective household budget.



  • Optional extension activities are offered with each unit to incorporate additional real-world lessons, including:
    • The Kuder® Navigator Career Assessment, participating in a STEM problem solving activity, or understanding college costs and filling out a FAFSA college financial aid form.

The JA Finance Park Simulation Experience:

After completion of the classroom lessons, students practice their new skills during a hands-on, culminating experience. This is the second piece of the JA Finance Park program’s two-pronged educational approach. These reality-based simulations put students in the shoes of an adult for the day, and require them to make the tough financial decisions necessary to maximize their resources and avoid going into debt.

Schools have the option of choosing which simulation experience works best for their school, whether is it’s a field trip to the Capital One/ JA Finance Park simulated city, or the Online Virtual simulation.

JA Finance Park Field Trip:

  • The only cost to a school is transportation services to our location. Students must bring their own lunch.
  • Upon arrival, students are placed in small groups of (6-10) peers and assigned to a volunteer mentor for the day.
    • Volunteer mentors – Corporate and Community role models that share their education, career, and life experience with the students. Volunteers guide the students through the simulation activity.
  • Students each receive a tablet for use during the simulation, where they will learn about their fictional adult life situation.
  • Led by volunteers, students explore realistic spending categories, including housing, transportation, utilities, and child care, to name a few.
  • Based on their fictional net monthly income students create a budget and make spending decisions.
  • Students then revisit each storefront to pay their bills with their given debit card.
  • The day wraps up with a group debrief, listening to all the students’ light bulb moments that they discovered along the way.

Daily Schedule
8:00AM          Volunteer Training
9/9:30AM          Student Arrival/Morning Announcements
10:00AM            Research & Budgeting
11:30 AM            Lunch
12:00PM             Shopping & Payment
1:15PM                Student Debriefing/Closing Announcements
1:30/2:00PM    Departure

JA Finance Park Virtual:

  • The Virtual online simulation option allows students to engage in the role-playing simulation without having to leave the classroom.
  • This simulation can be done on laptops, in the computer lab, at the library or media center.
  • The simulation is broken into four 45 minute sessions, which can be done over multiple class periods, or completed in one sitting.
  • JA Finance Park staff creates a school account, with each teacher receiving individual login information
    • Students also receive their own username and password.
  • Corporate or community volunteers can be brought in to assist with the Virtual experience.



  • Have questions about JA Finance Park, or wish to sign up? Contact:

    • Stephanie Karpowicz, Director of Capstone Programs, skarpowicz@ja.org, (609) 419-0404 ext. 116

    • Joy Isabelle, Senior Manager, JA Finance Park, joy.isabelle@ja.org, (609) 419-0404 ext. 113


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