JA World: JA BizTown and JA Finance Park

Since its inception, Junior Achievement has been committed to "experiential learning". Taking it to the next level, Junior Achievement of Washington is proud of JA World, which involves two programs: JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. These dramatic programs significantly transform how every local student is taught to view the world of work, free enterprise and their possibilities for success in it.

The importance of these programs is difficult to overstate. Because of their tremendous experiential nature, a building is required to house JA's BizTown and JA's Finance Park.

JA BizTown for 4th through 6th Grades

When students visit JA BizTown, they enter the world of business. They get to see, touch, and experience free enterprise. JA BizTown creates a learning environment in which students are given opportunities for real rather than imagined activities, active rather than passive learning, and actual decision making with positive and negative consequences. Adult volunteers have an important role in leading students through their day at JA BizTown.

JA Finance Park for Middle and High School Students

When students visit JA Finance Park, they enter the world of personal finance. Students study different financial decisions to be made, consider the options available, and construct a personal budget, all based on a personalized life scenario they are given. Volunteer adults, including both businesses' employees and parents, are actively involved with JA Finance Park as they assist students to achieve at their highest level.

How Is This Different?

The rationale for this initiative can be supported by reams of research on the effectiveness of experiential learning and teaching entrepreneurship at an early age. The research shows that students who learn concepts and principles via experiential exercises demonstrate greater levels of engagement, reflection, and personal responsibility associated with the learning process than students who learn via traditional classroom instructional methods. A major difference between traditional modes of classroom instruction and experiential learning is that the experiential mode of learning helps students more effectively develop intrinsic motivation for learning.

Additionally, experiential teaching activities help students to characterize their learning as more relevant to the real world.

Who Does JA World Serve?

  • 25,000 students annually, in Washington and Northern Idaho
  • Teachers from participating schools
  • Parents of participating students
  • Business people in Western and Central Washington
  • Functionally designed meeting space enables the facility to be available for use by JA World storefront partners

View these videos to learn more about JA BizTown and JA Finance Park,
and get a sneak peak into the JA World facility in Yakima.

‚ÄčVolunteer for a JA World Program

JA World Supporters and Storefront Sponsors

JA BizTown and JA Finance Park would not be possible without Junior Achievement's many dedicated community partners. Additional sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available!
Click here to view photos from the November 2016 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the opening of seven storefronts at JA World in Auburn.

For additional information regarding JA Finance Park in Auburn, contact Dawn Parsons, JA Finance Park and Experiental Programs Manager, at 253.236.3260 or dawnp@jawashington.org; and Shari Andrade, Manager, JA BizTown, at 253.236.3587 or sharia@jawashington.org.

For additional information regarding JA World in Yakima, contact Carmen Mendez, Regional Director, at 509.853.1234 or carmenmendez@jawashington.org.