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Teaching About Finances

Capital One hosts Junior Achievement Finance Park.

In collaboration with Fairfax County Schools, Junior Achievement Worldwide and Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area, Capital One Financial Corporation welcomed students from Rocky Run Middle School in October, for participation in the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park — a mobile, interactive classroom where students are given real-life financial situations and taught how to make decisions on money matters.

The Finance Park is made up of two 53-foot, semi-trucks that feature 2,000 square feet of training space and are capable of hosting up to 60 students at a time. Students used 24 hours of classroom curriculum to help them at Finance Park, where they were given real-life scenarios and asked to make financial decisions and maintain a personal budget.

The Finance Park stopped at the Capital One Financial Corporation in McLean from Oct. 12-25. More than 50 students from Rocky Run Middle School visited the facility during this time. Students interacted with Capital One volunteers and then applied what they had learned through classroom instruction at Finance Park.

“With this new mobile classroom, we hope to provide middle schoolers access to financial education resources and instill money management skills that will last a lifetime," said Richard Woods, senior vice president at Capital One. "Finance Park allows us the flexibility to bring financial education to our local communities — our associates will play an active role in opening possibilities and building self-confidence in these young adults.”

A recent survey by Capital One showed that 94 percent of 8th graders never have had a personal finance class, yet 48 percent want to learn more about managing money. In addition, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy polled 6,000 high school seniors on the basics of financial literacy, and participants received an average score of 52.4 percent — illustrating that many youths are not prepared to manage their finances when they graduate high school. Last year, Senate Bill 950 was passed, requiring that instruction in financial literacy be taught in public middle and high schools in Virginia, as well as be “systematically infused” into the Standards Of Learning (SOL) and career and technical education programs.

“We’re grateful to Capital One and Junior Achievement for offering this unique opportunity to our students," said Jack Dale, superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. "Many teens have no idea of the financial decisions that have to be made each and every day — this is a wonderful chance for them to see what really happens financially in the real world.”