A new interactive exhibit sponsored by the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation (ICIEF) is helping Washington, DC, area students learn that it is never too early to start investing for life’s goals. In partnership with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington (JA), ICIEF has created an interactive “Investing Road Trip” exhibit for students participating in daylong financial education programs at JA’s Finance Parks, which host approximately 23,000 students annually as part of their schools’ financial education curricula.
JA currently has parks in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, with plans to open a third Finance Park in Montgomery County, Maryland, in 2018. The new park will also feature ICIEF’s investor education materials.
“ICIEF is excited to expand our Finance Park curriculum to help students go beyond learning how to budget and save, and start thinking about how to invest,” said ICIEF Vice President Tina Kilroy. “ICIEF’s exhibit teaches students that investing requires planning and may involve risks, but provides the best way to achieve long-term financial goals.”
For students, Finance Park field trips are the culmination of a 14-lesson classroom curriculum that builds a foundation in personal finance. Students put those skills to the test, assuming a life scenario—complete with a career, salary, credit score, debt, a family, and financial obligations—challenging them to balance their household budgets. Tablet computer in hand, students travel through storefronts and kiosks to plan their financial futures.
ICIEF’s exhibit adds depth to the investment component, featuring a colorful wall-sized information graphic, developed by ICI Senior Designer Stephanie Lacasse and Senior Director, Communications Design, Janet Zavistovich. The Investment Company Institute recently featured the exhibit in the Focus on Funds video below, which includes footage of students interacting with the exhibit and an interview with ICIEF’s Kilroy.
Since its founding in 1989, the ICI Education Foundation has partnered with schools, government agencies, and other nonprofits in developing investment education programs. It has also worked to promote broad financial literacy by participating in nationwide coalitions, conferences, research, and other initiatives sponsored by a variety of agencies and organizations.