George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Ariel Community Academy

Grades K-8 | Chicago, IL

Financial Literacy Makes School Relevant

The Ariel Community Academy is a public K-8 school on the South Side of Chicago. They have been having remarkable success thanks to a number of effective strategies, particularly a financial-literacy program.
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What This School Is Achieving


Since 2002, Ariel has consistently outperformed their district, Chicago Public Schools, on the percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards in math, reading, and science.

Since 2007, the school has outperformed the entire state of Illinois every year.

Among the school’s alumni, 97% have graduated from high school. 65% of those students have enrolled in two-or four-year colleges.

How They Do It

An Early Start on Financial Literacy Pays Off

Getting an Early Start on Financial Literacy

A financial-literacy curriculum provides real-world context for learning and helps students directly connect school with their future goals.

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Infographic showing American spending habits. With nearly 20 percent of Americans living beyond their means, education about personal finance is critical. Research indicates that teaching finance to students yields greater money-management skills that car

Infographic: The Value of Financial Literacy

Students who learn financial literacy skills gain a wealth of knowledge that will yield returns well into their future.

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Head shot of woman smiling

Resources and Lesson Plans for Financial Literacy

Educators from Ariel Community Academy, in Chicago, have provided lesson plans and web resources to help you get started.

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