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Grade 8 Finance Park

Finance Park Learning JourneyAll Milwaukee Public Schools eighth grade students will visit Junior Achievement's Finance Park at the JA of Wisconsin Kohl’s Education Center. At Finance Park, each student is assigned a life scenario — age, family information, occupation, and income — and then must manage his or her finances and construct a workable household budget. This experience will enhance students' understanding of financial literacy lessons in banking, budgeting, credit, taxes, and careers. The lessons that lead up to the visit at Finance Park will be taught during the social studies allotted time frame and are aligned to the state standards.

Visitation Date

Eighth grade social studies teachers must attend a curriculum training session prior to the assigned Learning Journey date. New teachers are required to attend training at the Junior Achievement Kohl's Education Center prior to being assigned a Learning Journey date. New teachers will be provided with a curriculum guide at the training for their corresponding Learning Journey. Returning teachers are required to take an online survey and training to help guide them through any new aspects of the curriculum and receive classroom materials. If you or another teacher needs to attend training, you may contact Jennie Ekstein, social studies curriculum specialist, at

Date assignments will be sent directly to school principals via Smartsheet for confirmation prior to the Learning Journey. This Learning Journey takes place throughout the academic year.

Students per Visitation Day

Prior to arrival, teachers should review the checklist provided by Junior Achievement to ensure that all students are prepared for the simulation. All students should have a name tag with their first name.


JA Finance Park teachers are not required to provide volunteers for the simulation. However, parent/guardian participation is strongly encouraged, as this leads to additional conversations and learning. Volunteers should arrive at JA Finance Park one hour prior to simulation start time for onsite training. Please share volunteer names with your JA representative prior to your scheduled simulation.

Length of Visit

All simulations are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. (9:30 a.m. for late schools). All schools should plan to eat lunch on the premises. Lunches and outerwear will be collected and securely stored on the premises. Buses are scheduled for departure from JA at 1:30 p.m. (2:00 p.m. for late schools). Note: Plan accordingly for an approximately 30- to 45-minute bus ride.

Cost to Schools

This Learning Journey is provided free to all MPS eighth grade students. Student admission costs and programming as well as teacher and chaperone admissions will be paid by MPS Central Services. Transportation will be paid for and arranged on the schools' behalf by MPS Central Services. Transportation details will be sent to teachers and principals via Smartsheet. Schools cannot charge students for busing.

Bus Information

Transportation will be arranged and paid for by MPS Central Services on the schools' behalf. Schools cannot charge students for busing. Transportation details will be sent to teachers and principals via Smartsheet. Questions regarding transportation or requests for special accommodations, such as wheelchair or walker needs, should be directed to Mary Grant, Learning Journeys planning assistant, at

School Responsibility

Teachers will need to distribute field trip permission slips and JA's parental consent letter for this Learning Journey. Each teacher must review all Finance Park simulation curricular materials provided to them prior to the Learning Journey.

Additional Resources

MPS Foundation


Michelle Wade
Social Studies Manager
Phone: 414-475-8090

Mary E. Grant
CAO Planning Assistant III/Learning Journeys
Phone: 414-475-8614

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