Junior Achievement Financial Literacy Programs Save a 'Lost Generation' of

TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - Half of young Canadians feel they are at or beyond their ability to manage personal debt. Junior Achievement of Canada (JA Canada(TM)) today officially announces the implementation of two youth financial literacy programs designed to address this problem.

The Economics for Success and Dollars with Sense programs were renewed and tested in the 2008/2009 school year and are now being delivered across the country. It is expected that more than 116,000 students will participate in these programs at the junior high and high school levels this year.

With 5.2 million students in public elementary and secondary schools each year, a lack of financial literacy could result in a stifling affect on our economic competitiveness and their personal ability to spend, save and plan for the future. If the average student represented $1,000 in potential savings, spending or borrowing, that amounts to over $5 billion. How they manage their money and make financial decisions is critical.

"JA believes that youth financial literacy is a life skill and an economic pillar. Encouraging positive behaviours and attitudes toward finances makes for responsible consumerism, increased savings, reduced debt and smart investments," says Ross Maund, President and CEO, JA Canada.

JA Canada is the largest provider of youth financial literacy programs and resources that support educators across Canada. With the introduction of the new Economics for Success and Dollars with Sense programs, JA Canada offers a suite of eight programs, which are available in English and French, and are delivered to students in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary school classrooms across Canada.

About the Programs

Supported by the Royal Bank of Canada, Dollar with Sense gives junior high school students personal money management skills and challenges them to apply these concepts in their own life. This program demonstrates how students can financially manage changes in career and life directions and provides them with the experience they need to make better economic decisions. Students play an investment strategies game to learn about effective spending, how to avoid credit and debt pitfalls, discover the advantages and risks of different investments, and various other life long lessons.

"What I learned today will help me in the future because I now know to spend my time and money on things that I will benefit in life from," said one middle school participant of the newly established Dollars with Sense program.

Economics for Success encourages junior high school and high school students to reflect on the advantages of remaining in school to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed for long-term career success. This program helps students explore and manage their job and career choices by focusing on the direct links between further education and personal goals. Economics for Success gives students a new perspective on how informed choices can jump-start their future and helps youth realize the financial constraints and demands of independence.

"In the past year, more than 210,000 Canadian students experienced a JA program and received over 1.3 million instructional hours of personal and professional development. To put it in perspective that equates to 148 years of shaping minds in just 365 days," added Ross Maund.

About JA Canada(TM)

For more than 50 years, Junior Achievement learning experiences have helped young Canadians discover leadership, entrepreneurial and work readiness skills so they can achieve their highest potential and future successes. Across Canada, Junior Achievement reaches more than 210,000 students annually in more than 400 communities from coast to coast. A suite of nine curriculum-matched programs are delivered thanks to the time and talent of 10,000 dedicated business volunteers. Since 1955, nearly four million Canadian youth have participated in JA Canada's education programs free-of-charge.

Through the Junior Achievement of Canada Foundation, JA Canada also manages The Canadian Business Hall of Fame(TM), The Order of the Business Hall of Fame(TM) and the National Business Archives of Canada(TM).


For further information: For further information: about Junior Achievement of Canada and its programs, please visit our website at www.jacan.org or contact Tracy Nixon at (416) 622-4602 ext. 229; Junior Achievement of Canada, 1 Eva Road, Suite 218, Toronto, Ontario, M9C 4Z5, Tel: 1-800-265-0699; Media Relations Contact: Cristina Costa, Warne Marketing + Communications, (416) 927-0881 ext. 206, Email: cristina@warne.com

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