March 24, 2011-Financial Learning

As reported in NJBIZ, about 80 students from Newark and Jersey City got a lesson in money management skills on March 17 at the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park, held at Verizon New Jersey’s Newark headquarters. As part of a broader national program, Finance Park uses classrooms, computers and volunteer coaches to introduce budgeting and other skills to students in middle and high school. The students got a chance to put their knowledge to the test when they were given “debit cards,” each loaded with a set amount of electronic funds, and had to make decisions about buying items like a home, a car or food using computer kiosks in a “digital city.” The idea was to keep their spending within their income.

Newark Lincoln School eighth-grader Autumn Daniels said the program already has made a difference in her life. “I wanted to be a writer before I took the program,” she said. “But now I want to be a doctor, because they make more money.”

The program, which launched Feb. 2, runs through April 7, and is expected to reach more than 3,000 urban students in the state. Learn more about the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park at http://www.ja.org/programs/programs_mid_park_mobile.shtml.