The Challenge at
The Challenge at Finance Park - A "Real World" Experience
The Challenge at Finance Park is a four-week,
teacher-lead, standards based, economics education program that
introduces personal financial planning and career exploration,
culminating in a day-long visit at the The Challenge at Finance Park site.
Prior to their visit, teachers and volunteers attend on-site
training provided by Junior Achievement staff to prepare them to
lead students through the classroom curriculum.
During their visit to The Challenge at Finance Park, students apply these learned concepts, with the help of their teachers and volunteers, in a life-like community by assuming various family and income scenarios and visiting businesses to gather information for their personal financial decision-making.
"A Day in the Park"
- Putting Learning to Work
Upon entering The Challenge at Finance Park, each student is assigned their unique "life situation" - a card to identify the details of their adult persona, including marital status, number of children (if any), education, employment and income.
The card might, for example, classify a student as a single mother with two kids, junior college education, and a sales associate job receiving an income of $40,000 per year. Students will determine how much of their income is available to them each month after taxes, and they will budget their money as they move about the Park. Each student's budget will become the most important determining factor of his/her assumed role.
Participating students use bank services, contribute to charities, purchase housing, transportation, furnishings, food, health care, and other expenses, make investment decisions, and work to create and balance their personal budgets. Students will become conscious that choices, compromises, and saving for the future are key concepts for living within one's means.
Real-life members of the community, including teachers, parents and local business people, mentor students by actively participating in their unique The Challenge at Finance Park experience.
The Challenge at Finance Park Concepts and Skills:
Credit and Debt
Saving and Investing
Taxes, Income and Social Security
Planning: Budgeting and Money Management