PORTLAND – A unique new park set to open in Portland was designed to teach teens financial literacy skills for life.
The park is actually portable and will travel across Oregon and Southwest Washington, staying in cities and towns for a week at a time.
The Junior Achievement Finance Park covers all aspects of everyday financial life, from mortgages, to groceries, to buying a car.
Middle school and high school students can use an iPad app to transfer what they've learned during the classroom exercises and put it to practical use.
“Each business represents an expense line in a typical household budget,” explained Junior Achievement of Oregon & Southwest Washington president John Hancock. “It goes all the way to the really expensive stuff like homes and cars and childcare, down to things like electrical bills.”
The final challenge: Balancing a budget.
“You have to prioritize your money so you don't end up spending it all on fun money and don't have any for your house,” added 8th grade student Whitney Wells. “It's kind of important to know what to spend your money on.”
Junior Achievement raised $800,000 to build the park and several area foundations and companies also helped with big donations, including KeyBank, the lead sponsor.
The park will make its first stop in Eugene on April 9th.