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10,000 Reasons to Make Financial Education a Priority


By Matt Cauthron

As part of its mission to raise the overall level of financial knowledge in the U.S. for people of all ages, the Jackson Charitable Foundation has partnered with Discovery Education to expand the reach of the Foundation and its “Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids” program.

The Cha-Ching Pledge Challenge, which will run September 19 through December and will be hosted at, will encourage teachers and parents to make a pledge to teach kids the basics of personal finance—earning, spending, saving, and donating—ideally with the help of the Cha-Ching program’s videos and other materials. Based on the number of pledges made, a winning school will receive a $10,000 prize and an additional $1,000 to donate to the school’s charity of choice.

Danielle Robinson, Executive Director, Jackson Charitable Foundation, said the pledge drive will offer teachers across the country a tangible incentive to make financial education a priority in their classrooms, and can plant a seed early on to boost young people’s financial acumen for a lifetime.

“My dream is that our work at the Foundation can be the spark that starts a conversation about money,” Robinson said. “Whether it’s with parents and kids, teachers and students or people at any stage of their lives, one of the most important steps to financial security is planning—and planning begins with a conversation.”

To support the pledge challenge, Jackson is running daily public service announcements on the Discovery Family channel that promote the Cha-Ching program and trumpet the importance of financial education. The messages have been running since June and will continue throughout the year.

Get Involved

Student in classroom If you’d like to join the mission to improve financial knowledge for kids in your area, consider volunteering in the classroom with Cha-Ching and Junior Achievement (JA) this fall. JA’s “Our City” program will reach 450,000 third-grade students this school year incorporating the Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids program. JA Our City is divided into five 45-minute lessons and volunteers will coordinate with their assigned teacher on a schedule that works for the volunteer and classroom. JA provides training and the teaching curriculum for volunteers to use in the classroom.

If you’re interested in teaching another grade level you can also get involved with JA's volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can find your local JA chapter to learn more about opportunities in your area.

Photo of Matt Cauthron
Matt Cauthron
Foundation Contributing Author

With a background in Marketing and Copywriting, Matt Cauthron helps bring great stories to life. An award-winning journalist and marketer, Matt is also a licensed securities representative and has experience working in the financial services industry. He resides in Denver with his wife Katy, his dog Wayne, and his cat Eugene.

The Jackson Charitable Foundation is the charitable-giving arm of Jackson National Life Insurance Company®. The Foundation focuses on work that is national in scope. Local community requests to strengthen families and increase economic opportunities in Lansing, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and Nashville, Tennessee can be directed to Jackson's Corporate Philanthropy team.