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Students Gain Real-Life Experiences with JA Finance Park

Students from across the District are playing the role of adults and learning how to make financial decisions at the Junior Achievement (JA) Finance Park being held at the Paul A. Brown Learning Center, November 7-18, 2022. 

JA hosts the hands-on experiential program each year for eighth through twelfth-grade students, demonstrating real-life applications of mathematics, social studies, language arts and economics. 

Odom business teacher/technology liaison Letasha Brachett had the opportunity to take approximately 80 students. 

“The kids love it,” she said. “It’s a real eye-opener for them to understand what their parents are going through in regards to paying bills and managing a family.”

Students learn economics and social studies through free enterprise, personal property, taxes and technology. They are also educated on personal financial literacy through information on financial institutions, credit, insurance, charitable giving, providing needs within a budget, stocks and savings.

“During the program, students play the role of adults and upon completion are equipped to make sound financial decisions and be inspired to see relevance between education, career, salary and desired lifestyle,” said JA Program Manager Jennifer Womack.

Dr. Belinda George, JA volunteer and Gulf Credit Union Culture and Experience Director, also partnered with JA to create situations by grouping students and having them make joint financial decisions using play money. 

“It’s always fun to watch students interact with one another,” said Brachett. “They were arguing over not being able to go on a trip because the bills had not been paid or telling each other to go get another job.”

Beaumont United students experienced the JA Finance Park on November 10 and Paul Brown students are scheduled for November 18.