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Kohl’s Department Stores Donates $3 million to Junior Achievement (JA) of Wisconsin for Kohl’s Education Center and JA Programs

Kohl’s brings unique education program to Wisconsin

Submitted by: Kohl's Department Stores

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Community Development

Posted: Jan 25, 2010 – 11:51 AM EST


Kohl's Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) is partnering with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. and donating $3 million over the next three years to create a new interactive learning facility, the Kohl's Education Center, opening in late 2010. Programs that will be housed in the new facility will provide approximately 45,000 Milwaukee-area fourth through tenth grade students over the next three years with a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The donation comes from the Kohl's Cares for Kids® cause program, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children's health and education initiatives nationwide.

"The Milwaukee area is home for Kohl's, and we are proud to be able to give back and build health and education programs for kids here in the local community," said Julie Gardner, Kohl's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Junior Achievement is a premier organization and these new programs create a fun, interactive way for kids to learn about real-life financial decisions, transactions and how to spend within a budget. They will build practical tools and skills they need to succeed as tomorrow's workforce, consumers and leaders."

The programs work with local schools and teachers to combine classroom learning with real-world situations, providing hands-on activities and full simulation experiences to engage different learning styles and enhance what students learn in a classroom. The goal is for students to learn practical skills around work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Site locations for the Kohl's Education Center are currently being evaluated. When a site is determined, the Kohl's Education Center will house two age-specific learning labs:

  • JA BizTown™: Created for fourth through sixth grade - connects education to the workforce when students run a "real" city economy as workers, consumers, and government officials. Students start with classroom lessons and then spend a full day at JA BizTown to put their learning into action with a fully-interactive simulated town. Students operate the town bank, manage restaurants and stores, write checks and vote for the JA BizTown mayor. Students shop for what they need at retail stores, including a Kohl's branded store, and will act as store associates and/or customers as part of their hands-on learning experience.

  • JA Finance Park™: Created for seventh through tenth grade - is a financial literacy program where students complete personal finance transactions and create long term financial plans. First, students engage in a month-long economics education program at their schools that introduces personal financial planning and career exploration. After the classroom lessons, students visit JA Finance Park with their teachers and a staff of trained JA volunteers. Upon arrival at the JA Finance Park, students are given a specific simulated life story which includes age, family information, occupation and income. They then must navigate through the park and its storefronts managing their finances and constructing a workable household budget.

Similar JA programs are in 29 cities in the U.S. and this donation will bring this proven-program to the Milwaukee-area. The programs will primarily serve Milwaukee- Ozaukee-, Washington-, and Waukesha-county students. The Kohl's Education Center will facilitate 10,000 students in its first year, 15,000 students in its second year and 20,000 thousand by the third year.

"We are thrilled that Kohl's is supporting Junior Achievement. This gift ensures students during the next school year will have the opportunity to experience JA BizTown and JA Finance Park," said Tim Greinert, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. "We’ve seen the success of these programs and are thankful for the generosity from Kohl's. We know that students will benefit from these programs and look forward to the grand opening."

Since 2000, and with this most recent donation, Kohl's expects to give approximately $20 million to support charitable initiatives in the metro-Milwaukee area. This latest donation is part of the more than $126 million raised over the past ten years by the Kohl's Cares for Kids cause program that benefits children's health and education initiatives nationwide. Most recently in Milwaukee, Kohl's announced a $1 million donation in December to Penfield Children's Center to create a new program delivering specialized resources and services for children with developmental challenges. Last fall, Kohl's announced a $225,000 donation from the Kohl's Cares for Kids Program to Hunger Task Force to create a supper meal program for students in Milwaukee. The one-year program will feed 2,775 students each day. Kohl's has also given $1 million to the Milwaukee Art Museum to fund the youth art education program, Kohl's Art Generation. For the past ten years, the Kohl's Cares for Kids program has supported Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Last year, the hospital received $725,000. For more information on Kohl's philanthropic efforts, visit

For more information on the Kohl's Education Center and JA Capstone Programs, visit To purchase Kohl's Cares for Kids® merchandise, visit any Kohl's store or shop online at

About Kohl's

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. Kohl's operates 1,059 stores in 49 states. A company committed to the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $126 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares for Kids® philanthropic program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

About Junior Achievement

JA Worldwide is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities. JA's unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver our curriculum while sharing their experiences with students. Embodying the heart of JA, our 384,925 classroom volunteers transform the key concepts of our lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world. Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. has more than 155,000 students participating annually, is lead by a volunteer Board of Directors and is privately funded with gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations.

For more information, please contact:

Vicki Shamion Vice President, Community Relations and Public Relations
Phone: 262-703-1464
Phone: 262-703-5241
Tim Greinert President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin
Phone: 414.352.5350

For more from this organization:

Kohl's Department Stores


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