The Cherokee Junior Achievement program is part of a financial literacy initiative backed by the Cherokee Nation Foundation and Cherokee Nation Businesses. The effort provides interactive, hands-on curriculum from Junior Achievement to classrooms throughout northeast Oklahoma.
All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The curriculum also correlates to state standards in social studies, English and mathematics.
Courses offered include JA BizTown, Finance Park, Personal Finance, Job Shadow and Investor Challenge.
In 2011, Cherokee Nation became the first tribe to occupy a commercial space in Junior Achievement’s kid-sized city, JA BizTown. In addition to sponsoring the replicated Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, the partnership also provides financial support for classrooms to attend.
JA Finance Park helps students build a solid financial foundation. The curriculum helps students make intelligent financial decisions regarding income, expenses, savings and credit. The program is composed of 13 classroom lessons, culminating a hands-on budgeting simulation. Additional extension activities are available for each lesson topic. Lessons are offered in a traditional classroom presentation format designed for middle-grade students and in a Project-Based Learning format for high school students. Both provide educators a method of delivery that will best meet the needs of their students.
JA Personal Finance focuses on earning money; spending money wisely through budgeting, saving and investing money; using credit cautiously; and protecting one's personal finances. Following participation in the program, students will be able to recognize the fundamental elements of smart personal finances and apply those elements to a personal financial plan that allows them to set specific goals for their lifelong financial needs and desired quality of life.
JA Job Shadow offers students a unique opportunity to visit the professional work environment at Cherokee Nation Businesses. Students participating in the program acquire and apply the skills needed in demanding and ever-changing workplaces. Students learn to recognize career clusters and potential job positions; understand the importance of researching job requirements; and develop tools to assist in a job search such as networking, resumes and interviewing skills.
JA Investor Challenge is an exciting and educational hands-on introduction to the stock market. High school students form teams and are given the chance to experience the excitement of buying and selling stock shares on a live trading floor. The JA Investor Challenge provides a unique opportunity for students to learn how to work as a team, make decisions under pressure and take calculated risks.