Junior Achievement of Akron Area announced July 6 it qualified for a grant from Rent-A-Center which helped fund the implementation of JA Worldwide's kindergarten to 12th-grade curriculum with financial literacy components at Leggett Elementary School, Goodyear Middle School and Garfield High School. Thanks in part to this $4,400 grant and the support of classroom volunteers, 11 JA programs were provided for Leggett Elementary School, Goodyear Middle School, and Garfield High School in Akron this school year, reaching more than 230 students in schools where the percentage of economically disadvantaged students is around 70 percent. All JA Worldwide programs implemented through Rent-A-Center grants must be delivered in schools in which 51 percent of the student population qualifies for a free or reduced lunch program, stressing the importance of ensuring all young people have a fundamental understanding of personal financial literacy. The funding is part of a nationwide initiative between JA Worldwide and Rent-A-Center, which involves an $800,000 grant to be implemented and dispersed over four years."JA of Akron Area is honored and extremely appreciative of the support of Rent-A-Center," says Junior Achievement of Akron Area President, Dave Best. "This partnership allowed us to expand our reach, helping equip young people with 'real world' financial literacy skills that they can use on their way to a successful future. This partnership really helped us reach students in schools where there is the greatest need, and our programs can make the biggest impact."With the funding, the JA operation was better equipped to better engage community volunteers to implement JA Worldwide programs, teaching children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers and consumers. As a cornerstone of the partnership, Rent-A-Center helps expand JA Worldwide's hands-on classroom programs preparing students for future financial issues."JA Worldwide's programs teach our students valuable lessons that they will use in their future careers and in life, and we are happy to provide assistance that will help the organization reach even more students," says Mark Speese, president of Rent-A-Center.