Fairfax County Gets State-Of-The-Art Financial Learning Center | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Fairfax County Gets State-Of-The-Art Financial Learning Center

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Frost Middle School in Fairfax County, Va., is now home to a hands-on financial literacy center for middle school students.

But before getting the hands-on financial training, all of the county's eighth-graders are required to take a six-week-long course on finances. Then they get to put the learning into practice at a mock city called Finance Park, where they're given real-world scenarios to act out, like buying a house.

"Visualize walking into a mall. That's kind of what you feel like," says Ed Grenier of Junior Achievement. "It's a 10,000-square-foot square facility with these 18 shops around the edges with a courtyard in the middle and benches and trees and street signs. So it feels real to them, and that's all part of the strategy."

Grenier says, while role playing, students do what's natural.

"They get ahead of themselves, which is what happens with a lot of people. So throughout the day they have to recalculate and adjust their choices," he says.

Grenier hopes to expand the program to adults in the future.

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