Greater Tulsa Reporter
JA Finance Park presented by Bank of Oklahoma will host nearly 1,000 students in its inaugural session.
More than 1,000 local students are expected to put their financial literacy skills to the test in a simulated city where each decision they make impacts their take home pay and livelihood. Local high schools are invited to participate in Junior Achievement of Oklahoma’s JA Finance Park presented by Bank of Oklahoma April 10 – 21 at Tulsa Tech Peoria Campus.
JA Finance Park presented by Bank of Oklahoma is a state-of-the-art mobile facility where students live a fictional life situation, with marital status, children, job and salary. They are then challenged to create and successfully use a budget and make decisions around saving, spending, investing and philanthropic giving. To achieve these tasks, students work in groups and visit 19 kiosks with interactive terminals that simulate stores, restaurants and utility companies among other real-world businesses, like Bank of Oklahoma.
Pat Piper, executive vice president of Consumer Banking Services for Bank of Oklahoma and State Board Member for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, says the bank was excited to partner with Junior Achievement on an initiative that would help so many students learn to manage money and complements the bank’s Learn for Life program, a company-wide initiative that engages employees to promote basic financial skills in the communities the bank serves.
“Supporting financial education is a core focus of Bank of Oklahoma,” says Piper. “Financial literacy and money management skills are crucial building blocks for economic success. That’s why our employees volunteer in dozens of Junior Achievement classrooms each year through our Learn for Life program and we invest in financial literacy programs to ensure individuals of all ages on the path of fiscal responsibility and economic self-reliance.”
Piper added that the partnership on this innovative learning environment was an easy decision for the bank.
“JA Finance Park has a proven track record of engaging students with financial education programs and experiences that are both substantive and fun,” says Piper. “We look forward to bringing this experience to students across the state.”
JA Finance Park will also host nearly 1,000 students in Oklahoma City in March for a total statewide impact of nearly 2,000 students.
The reality-based simulation is key to giving students the opportunity to put their new money-management skills to the test, says Shannan Beeler, president of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.
“For 50 years, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma has helped students understand the short- and long-term impact of educational, financial and life-style decisions,” says Beeler. “It also prepares students to succeed as adults by teaching them some basic, practical money management skills which they will need to help them prosper in life.”
JA Finance Park provides a resource for Oklahoma schools to help fulfill the graduation requirement adopted by the State in 2008, House Bill 1476, requiring students to complete at least 14 financial instruction areas to graduate.
For a scheduled tour of JA Finance Park, or to request more information, please contact the Junior Achievement of Oklahoma offices at 918-663-2150 or visit www.jaok.org.