Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

What is JA Finance Park?

JA Finance Park gives middle-grades students an opportunity to develop personal money-management skills, acquire personal finance knowledge, and prepare for the financial decisions and challenges of their adult lives.

JA Finance Park introduces students to personal finance and career exploration through classroom instruction complemented by a day-long, hands-on experience where students apply learned concepts in a real-life budgeting simulation.  During this one-day experience, students assume randomly awarded family and income scenarios and visit businesses to gather information for their personal financial decision-making. Participating students use bank services, contribute to nonprofit organizations, budget for housing, transportation, furnishings, food, health care, and other expenses, make investment decisions, and work to be certain their budgets balance.

JA Finance Park students develop knowledge of economic and personal finance concepts, understand budgets and the importance of financial planning, become familiar with the use of financial services, utilize financial decision-making processes, and become better prepared for their future roles as consumers, investors, and workers.

 

Who can volunteer for JA Finance Park?

JA volunteers come from diverse backgrounds.  They span all age groups and include business professionals, parents, community members, military personnel, college students, and retirees.

 

What is my volunteer role at JA Finance Park?

As an active participant in a JA Finance Park simulation, your role will be to assist a group of 6-12 students by:

  • Providing guidance to your group of student as they work through all aspects of their budgeting experience
  • Ensuring the safety and security of the students 
  • Encouraging students to do their work to the best of their ability
  • Engaging with students in spontaneous opportunities for learning (teachable moments)

 

Before I arrive, what training is expected? 

There are two training sessions to prepare you for your volunteer experience at Lincoln Finance Park: online (prior to simulation/visit) and in person (day of the simulation/visit). The first training session may be completed at your convenience and takes approximately 20 minutes online.  The volunteer facilitator online training is found at http://jani.org/fp-volunteer-training.  Follow the 4 Step Volunteer Training Process.

 

I already did the online training; do I really need to be at Lincoln Finance Park 30 minutes prior to the students’ arrival?

It is highly recommended to help ensure a great day for you and the students. 

The second training session takes place prior to the students’ simulation. It begins promptly thirty (30) minutes before the students arrive at the Lincoln Finance Park facility (4031 North Clinton, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825). You will learn how JA Finance Park operates and what your role will be during the simulation.  Please be sure to arrive thirty (30) minutes prior to student arrival time for this training

 

Approximately how long will I be at JA Finance Park?

You will be at Lincoln Finance Park for 4 1/2 – 5 hours depending on the length of your school’s simulation time.

 

What is the JA Finance Park staff’s role during the simulation? 

The staff is present to ensure a successful day. The staff at JA Finance Park will be available to assist you with all of your questions, keep the schedule/time, and make announcements about important events throughout the day.

 

What about lunch? Will I get to eat lunch with my child?

Unless your school has made other arrangements, you will need to bring a sack lunch that does not need refrigeration.  A vending machine is available for soda/water/candy/snacks. Yes, you and your child will have the same lunch break. 

 

Where is Lincoln Finance Park located?

The Lincoln Finance Park address is 4031 North Clinton Street, Fort Wayne.  We are located south of Coliseum Boulevard on the west side of Clinton Street in the same parking lot as the United Art and Education Supply Store.  We are located next door to The Running Company.  Please park in front of the Lincoln Finance Park facility to allow sufficient parking for The Running Company patrons.

 

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.  You will be on your feet much of the day. 

 

Where can I leave my personal belongings?

JA Finance Park staff will assist you in securing your personal items in a locked room at Lincoln Finance Park.  You will have access to your personal items during the day as necessary.