From the Field – Williams Memorial Elementary, St. George, South Carolina

When Financial Literacy month was in full swing, teachers and school counselors across South Carolina turned to the Future Scholar Financial Literacy program, sponsored by South Carolina’s State Treasurer, Curtis Loftis, The 529 College Savings Plan and SC Economics, to help bring complex financial concepts to life for their students.

I had the pleasure of visiting several classrooms across the state to help students and teachers get started with Future Scholar. I am always amazed by how excited students are when I first explain the program to them– of course they love the idea of money, but they are also incredibly eager to learn about the habits that will help prepare them for life outside of the classroom.

After spending about thirty minutes on the program, 5th Grade students from Williams Memorial Elementary in St. George, SC, were already reflecting on the importance of creating a savings plan to meet short-term and long-term financial goals, understood the importance of keeping financial information private and couldn’t wait for the next chance to use the program in their upcoming guidance lessons. Some students even asked if they could keep working on it at home over spring break!.

Schools Manager: Belle Stoker
Teacher: Tarsha Brown
School: Williams Memorial Elementary, Dorchester 4 School District
City: St. George, South Carolina
Course: Future Scholar (Vault)

From the Field – Mandarin High School, Jacksonville, FL

Two teachers were awarded with an “Innovation in Financial Education” award from Scott Keith (VP for North/Central FL BB&T). They have used the BB&T Financial Foundations program for three years and have impacted over 900 students. The students now have a better grasp on what can impact their credit score, and the fees that can be associated with signing up for a credit card. After completing the savings module, one student asked his teacher for advice on how he can start saving and where he should be putting his money.

Schools Manager: Ashley Hart
Teacher: Anthony Boyo and Eric Fields
School: Mandarin High School, Duval County
City: Jacksonville, FL
Course: EVERFI: Financial Literacy

From the Field – Eldorado High School, Las Vegas, NV

In early March, I co-hosted a classroom launch with Pam Pratka, a 29 year Vision Bank veteran and Ms. Miranda Smith at Prague High School. Her students were so engaged with the EVERFI – Financial Literacy program and went straight to work. At the end of the class period, one young man told me he actually found the information quite interesting, with a big, bright smile!

Schools Manager: Dana Benedict-Wilson
Teacher: Ben Wood
School: Eldorado High School, Clark County School District
City: Las Vegas, NV
Course: EVERFI – Financial Literacy

From the Field – Woodlawn High School, Baton Rouge, LA

We partnered with Regions Bank to hold a certification ceremony to acknowledge the hard work of these students! We had over 700 students use Financial Literacy and 350 certified! Teri Thomas from Regions Bank presented the students with a fun cell phone holder gift as well as a certificate entitling them to free banking until they’re 25.

Schools Manager: Lauren Pingul
Teacher: David Wilburn
School: Woodlawn High School, East Baton Rouge Parish School System
City: Baton Rouge, LA
Course: EVERFI : Financial Literacy

From the Field – Holy Family Regional School, Rochester Hills, MI

Launching Mrs. Whitley’s class on Vault was a joyful experience. Her beautifully decorated computer lab, adorned with twinkling lights and pillows, felt like a cozy coffee shop or living room. Mrs. Whitley was so impressed with how engaged her students were on the course, and we talked about how important it is for even elementary school students to know how to manage money. (When asked, all but one student said that they prefer to save money than spend it!)

At Holy Family, students also earn the opportunity make a small donation to a charity of their choice as a prize for demonstrating good behavior. They are well on their way to making great choices about money!

Schools Manager: Rachel Blum-Jose
Teacher: Mrs. Whitley
School: Holy Family Regional School
City: Rochester Hills, MI
Course: Vault

From the Field – Newton High School, Covington, Georgia

Newton Federal Bank sponsors four high schools in Newton County. This year we were able to schedule ceremonies at all four sites! Both the students and teachers expressed what a meaningful resource EVERFI was for them. Our most recent ceremony took place at Newton High School where 180 certified students were presented with certificates and one student received a $200 scholarship from Newton Federal Bank in recognition of his outstanding work.

Schools Manager: Rachel Blum-Jose
Teacher: Mr. Williams, Ms. Javlyn, Dr. Wells
School: Newton High School, Newton County Schools
City: Covington, Georgia
Course: EVERFI Financial Literacy

From the Field – IS 49 Berta A. Dreyfus, Staten Island, New York

The classroom visit was a place of shared learning. Adults shared their financial mistakes and students shared their financial concerns for the future. As the conversation progressed we all agreed being financially literate was crucial for future happiness. During the trivia game we learned and relearned important lessons like budgeting and saving for the future.

Schools Manager: Clark Hoefnagels
Teacher: Michael Balzano
School: IS 49 Berta A. Dreyfus – New York City Public Schools
City: Staten Island, New York
Course: FutureSmart

From the Field – Fratt Elementary, Racine, Wisconsin

On April 10th, Sabina Chandiramani from EVERFI and Shannon Huot from Educators Credit Union visited Cinda Poppe’s class to celebrate her 4th grade students’ hard work around financial literacy! During this classroom visit, the students showcased their knowledge as they played a financial fitness jeopardy game and were then presented with their certificates of mastery. Cinda was so happy about how students responded to the program and said, “I am just amazed at how engaging Vault is for my students!”.

Schools Manager: Sabina Chandiramani
Teacher: Cinda Poppe
School: Fratt Elementary, Racine Unified School District
City: Racine, Wisconsin
Course: Vault

From the Field – Florin High School, Sacramento, CA

Mr Fairchild is the first to tell you he is the “founding teacher” of EVERFI in his district of Elk Grove. Mr Fairchild has implemented the program in his Business Math classes for 3+ school years and even included the curriculum in his summer school classrooms at a private school. On Friday, April 28 – U.S. Bank volunteers Pam Maxwell, Wayne Moore & Harald Junker joined his classes for a hands on budget activity with students.

Schools Manager: Hayley McKane
Teacher: Randall Fairchild
School: Florin High School, Elk Grove Unified
City: Sacramento, CA
Course: EVERFI – U.S. Bank’s Financial GeniUS Program

Financial Education in Elementary School

Financial Education for Younger Kids

As financial institutions and employers watch the twenty-something generation struggle with money matters, there has been much talk about the importance of financial education for young people. But how young should you start?

A recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers compelling reasons for starting financial literacy education for children as early as elementary school.[1] According to the report, childhood financial attitudes, habits, and norms begin to develop between ages 6-12. Teaching children heathy money habits at this age can have lasting effects, setting them up for a lifetime of financial success. In specific, CFPB recommends focusing on two primary areas in elementary school:

  1. Financial Habits and Norms
    We already know that children learn social and cultural behaviors at a young age, by observing the behaviors and attitudes of the people around them. According to the CFPB, financial behavior is no different. The report argues that “the values, standards, routine practices, and rules of thumb used to routinely navigate our day-to-day financial lives” can—and should—also be taught to young children. In practical terms, this means that children who are exposed to healthy financial habits at a young age tend to grow up to be adults who also have healthy financial habits.
  2. Financial Knowledge and Decision-Making Skills
    Beyond socialization, kids also have the ability to start learning concrete financial skills at a young age. The CFPB notes that “skillful money management, financial planning, goal setting, and financial research” are among the hands-on skills that must be taught in order for children to have a healthy financial foundation. For example, teaching elementary-aged kids about saving money, managing a basic budget, comparison shopping, and setting money goals are skills that will last a lifetime, and will give them the financial confidence and knowledge needed to grasp more complex financial topics at a later age.

The financial world that our children will inherit is an increasingly complex one. In an age of online shopping, digital payments, global trading, and sometimes deceptive lending, we need to set up our children for success—and this means teaching them solid financial habits and skills at a young age. To learn more about family financial capability and examine how it can help inform your consumer financial education solutions download our guide.

 

[1]Study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Building blocks to help youth achieve financial capability. (September 2016). Retrieved January 27, 2017, from https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/092016_cfpb_BuildingBlocksReport_ModelAndRecommendations_web.pdf