CHESTERMERE – The Junior Achievement’s SE Prairie Region will be participating in Financial Literacy month by bringing in its Dollars and Sense program to Grade 7 & 8 students in the Chestermere region. The four hour Dollars & Sense program is one of JA most sought after programs. Wendy Gerbrandt, Program Coordinator, SE Prairie Region says the students learn about fraud, intelligent shopping and learning how to make smart purchasing decisions. Economics for success, personal and business financial literacy is also covered in the class. Gerbrandt is still looking for 30 to 40 volunteers to deliver the course to the students in the classroom. The JA Dollars & Sense program is delivered by volunteers in the community who share similar values in ensuring our youth are financially educated. Their goal is to reach over 500 students in November. Training of the volunteers who deliver the program usually only takes a couple of hours.
There are already 13 classes signed up for the program throughout Strathmore and Chestermere (approximately 370 students) and Gerbrandt says they could accommodate another 7 other classrooms. Dollars & Sense is an essential first look at providing students an opportunity to begin thinking about their current personal finances and planning their financial futures.
In 2010 the Boston Consulting Group completed a comprehensive study of JA Alumni in Canada and the findings were staggering. Participation in JA programs has a direct correlation to long term financial and career success. The results were unprecedented and truly illustrate the impact and importance of this unique program. The Boston consulting group reported the following:
• JA programs produced more financially literate grads who saved more, borrowed less, and went bankrupt less often than the average Canadian
• JA grads are 50% more likely to open their own business
• JA grads average income is 50% higher than non-alumni
• JA grads are 3 times more likely to hold a Senior or Middle Management job
• JA grads are 25% less likely to be unemployed
• JA grads are 3 times less likely to spend more than they earn
• The impact on society, quantified on annual (run rate) basis, for investing $1 in JA is a $45 annual return
The SE Prairie Region includes the communities of Strathmore, Chestermere, Langdon, Beiseker, Standard, Rockyford, Carseland, Hussar and Gleichen.
The Junior Achievement Southern Alberta website is www.jasouthalberta.org