COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Junior Achievement USA (JA) has received a $1.75 million gift from the KPMG Foundation to redevelop its successful JA Finance Park® middle school financial literacy curriculum, which impacts 156,000 students across the nation each year. The grant will be used to revise, design, promote and evaluate the new JA Finance Park, with a goal of more strongly infusing 21st century learning concepts and techniques. The grant will also support the revision of the simulation technology that will foster student understanding of personal budget and smart money-management practices.
"KPMG's gift to Junior Achievement further supports our commitment to educating the workforce of tomorrow at every stage of their academic career," said Jose Rodriguez, chairman of the KPMG Foundation. "Developing our young people's financial literacy and entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills is imperative in today's rapidly changing business environment, and key to driving a strong, diverse pipeline of future talent."
In JA Finance Park, middle school students participate in a four-week personal finance curriculum delivered by their teacher. They then travel to a JA Finance Park location where their new money-management skills are put to the test. The students are assigned a fictional life situation, including job, salary and marital status and must create, use and balance a budget. Volunteers from the local business community mentor the students throughout the experience.
"We are thrilled to receive this gift on behalf of Junior Achievement's middle school students," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. "It will help us integrate relevant and contemporary learning into JA Finance Park to empower young people to own their success in today's global economy."
In redeveloping JA Finance Park, the curriculum will focus more heavily on careers to support the organization's goal of adding 21st century careers, especially as they relate to science, technology, engineering and math topics. The career focus is particularly important to KPMG in its ongoing effort to attract qualified candidates to careers in accounting.
According to Larry Leva, KPMG LLP's Global Vice Chair of Quality and Risk Management, and Junior Achievement USA Board Chair, "KPMG and the KPMG Foundation are proud to support Junior Achievement, and prouder still of the commitment our people have demonstrated to the organization and its mission. More than 45 of our partners and employees continue to give their time to serve on local JA boards, and nearly 1,700 served as JA classroom volunteers last year."
The KPMG Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation. The Foundation operates on donations from KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. For fiscal year 2012, KPMG donated over $6.2 million to the Foundation. Through the KPMG Foundation, the firm has spent over 40 years supporting and developing programs to enhance business education.
About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provides relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.2 million students per year in more than 120 markets across the United States, with an additional 6 million students served by operations in 119 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.
SOURCE KPMG Foundation