Greenwood Village, Colo. – Nov. 4, 2022 – Bellco Credit Union will partner with Junior Achievement (JA) to help students build a financial education foundation that lasts a lifetime, including decisions related to income, expenses, savings and credit through a real-world simulation at JA Finance Park, located inside of American Furniture Warehouse (AFW) in Thornton, Colo.
Before going to JA Finance Park, students participate in classroom-based curriculum that focuses on topics like managing a budget, the differences between credit and debit cards, as well as smart ways to save money. After they complete these lessons, they apply what they’ve learned at JA Finance Park by taking on a fictional adult persona who is challenged to create and manage a household budget.
“At Bellco, we strive to provide the best tools and resources so individuals can feel financially empowered. That’s why we’ve partnered with Junior Achievement to support financial education and learning solutions,” Jenna McFarlane, Vice President of Marketing at Bellco, said. “The educator-led classroom curriculum culminates with a visit to JA Finance Park, a realistic on-site facility, where students engage with volunteers and put into practice what they’ve learned about financial responsibility and family budgeting before they enter adulthood.”
Following their participation in the program, students are better able to:
- Evaluate the risks and benefits of saving and investing.
- Evaluate risk and recognize insurance as a way to minimize it.
- Define taxes, explain their purpose, and understand how they affect everyone.
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using credit and debit cards.
- Explain who uses a budget and why.
- Identify the components of a successful budget.
- Create a successful budget using real-life hypothetical situations.
JA Finance Park (Entry Level) is a part of the JA Financial Literacy Pathway and JA Work and Career Readiness Pathway, and is recommended for middle and high school students (grades 7–9). A minimum of 13 lessons is offered in a traditional classroom presentation format, and a project-based learning (PBL) format is available for high school delivery. As part of this program, JA teachers and volunteers are encouraged to use the resources available in JA Connect™ Learning Pathways, located at https://jausa.ja.org. This self-guided experience includes interactives, a JA Digital Career Book™, and games and apps for student use.
JA programs support national and state standards in reading, mathematics, social studies, and work and career readiness. See below for more information on alignment with national and state standards.
Learn more about Bellco’s financial education programs. Click here for a free FUNancial $marts activity book for elementary students and our newest book for middle school students.
Bellco is one of Colorado’s largest financial institutions, with more than $6 billion in assets and 28 branches in Colorado. Founded in 1936, Bellco offers a full range of financial products and services including home equity loans, auto loans and checking accounts. Today, Bellco has more than 350,000 members who benefit from the advantages of a credit union, including lower interest rates on loans, higher yields on savings and access to thousands of ATMs nationwide. Connect with Bellco on Facebook and Twitter. Bellco is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.