St. Mark’s Lutheran School eighth graders today will visit the A.G. Edwards Junior Achievement Finance Park in Chesterfield to learn personal financial management and career exploration through classroom instruction as well as active participation in a simulated community.
St. Mark’s Principal Sue Templeton said the field trip is a great opportunity for the students.
“At this workshop, our students will gain real-world experience by learning how to maintain a job, balance a checkbook, shop for groceries, and more. This experience will teach them valuable insight in a safe, comfortable environment,” she said.
During their visit to the finance park, students spend the day making important financial decisions and maintaining a balanced budget based off a “Life Situation” character. The character’s “Life Situation” details the student’s job title, job description and required qualifications to add more of a personal touch to the experience.
Students also are given an ATM card, which further explains the character’s “Life Situation” by providing information on the ages and number of children the character may have, plus the marital status, the gross annual income, and amount of taxes he/she pays.
The students then must create a monthly budget, based on their personal income and family scenario.
The A.G. Edwards JA Finance Park facility is divided into housing, mortgage services, banking, clothing, education, food, furniture, health care, home improvement, insurance, investment, real estate, transportation and utilities options. Each business represents a piece of the students’ personal budgets.
Parents and community volunteers lend a hand in each exhibit to share real-life experiences in helping a student set realistic expectations.
By the end of their visit, students will have chosen the best options for their budget, balanced their budget, and paid their monthly bills.