Junior Achievement Answers Cry for Financial Curriculum in Schools

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Free Program Responds to Need for Finance Classes NOW

Only 20 states currently require some form of basic financial literacy education and we hope to see that number rise.

In its quest to help bridge the financial education gap, Junior Achievement USA ® in partnership with The Allstate Foundation, has created downloadable classes targeted to grades 5 through 12. Available free of charge at http://www.ja.org, each of the 3 one-hour lessons is targeted to a specific range of grades for implementation by Junior Achievement volunteers and schools. The easy-to-use downloadable courses, titled Junior Achievement $ave, USA, focus on saving and sharing money for grade 5; the importance of establishing a budget to manage money for grades 6-8; and learning about credit for grades 9-12. All students will gain valuable financial knowledge that could improve their ability to make wise financial choices in the future.

"These first-ever classes respond to the heightened awareness that our future generation needs to understand the basics of personal finance," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president of Junior Achievement USA and a member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. "These courses will get students thinking about savings and money management at a young age and provide the fundamental skills of financial literacy which they can use for the rest of their lives."

As another first-of-its-kind for Junior Achievement, they will be offering this unique content as an online component to accompany the one hour courses as a way for students to practice and expand upon what they've learned in the classroom for their financial education.

Response to the offering from Junior Achievement across the country has been positive with major plans within the entire Chicago school system, where they hope to reach more than 20,000 students with these classes.

"Many states understand the immediate need to teach financial literacy in public schools," said Kosakowski. "Only 20 states currently require some form of basic financial literacy education and we hope to see that number rise." In the meantime, Kosakowski believes that the volunteer-based Junior Achievement programs that are available to schools are even more relevant now than ever before.

Junior Achievement offers a variety of programs that focus on financial literacy specifically for elementary, middle and high school students. Students and potential volunteers can learn more by visiting http://www.ja.org.

About Junior Achievement® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ja.org.

The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Foundation partners with non-profit organizations on community initiatives that promote "safe and vital communities," "tolerance, inclusion, and diversity" and "economic empowerment." Teen driving and empowering victims of domestic violence have been major initiatives for the Foundation since 2005. For more information visit http://www.ProtectTeenDrivers.com or http://www.clicktoempower.com.

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Stephanie Bell
Junior Achievement
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