The Financial Planning Association and JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement) announced a joint effort to advance educational programs that help improve the financial literacy of America's youth. Recent surveys, such as the one conducted biannually by The Jump$tart Coalition, indicate that young people desperately need financial literacy instruction. Participants in Jump$tart's 2006 survey averaged a dismal 52.4 percent of questions answered correctly when asked basic questions about financial literacy.
   As part of the FPA/Junior Achievement partnership, FPA will provide volunteers from its nationwide network of planners to teach kids the financial planning process, their role in the economy, and the importance of education to their success in life. Junior Achievement will provide the training, program materials and support to match FPA volunteers with local schools requesting Junior Achievement programs.
   Junior Achievement programs reach students in grades K-12. One of its strong suits is financial literacy, along with entrepreneurship and workforce readiness, says spokeswoman Stephanie Bell.
   For its part, FPA's youth-related programs range from teaching elementary school children the basic fundamentals of credit and how not to abuse it, to more complicated financial subjects for high schoolers.
   Forty-two of FPA's 100 chapters so far have signed up to participate in the joint educational program. "Obviously, the more the merrier," says FPA spokesman Beau Ballinger. "We're looking for as many interested volunteers as possible in our local chapter areas."