To kick off Financial Literacy Month we’re reflecting on the good that is happening in financial education. For instance, a recent survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 parents report talking to their kids about personal finance! That’s an 18% increase since 2003.
Today we’re featuring a guest post from Mississippi student Jack D who shares how the EverFi – Financial Literacy course taught him how to make good choices with money now to help him reach his goals in the future. Congrats to Jack for being one of our student blog contest winners!
Student: Jack D
Teacher: Dee Self
School: Rosa Scott High School
The EverFi program has helped me greatly in realizing the potential that I have. The positive impact that EverFi has had on my life is something that most people would see as something small. In reality, the effect of this program has been huge and will provide me with good opportunities in the future. The program has taught me to have a greater respect for money than I previously did. I now realize that money is valuable and it does not come easily. Before EverFi, I was a very impulsive spender. Now I would consider myself very frugal, especially for a student in high school. I currently have a job that I work on weekends that pays plenty for a 9th grade employee, but I used to spend all of my money within days of getting it. Now with that money I have started a college fund that has risen above one thousand dollars! This will help me get the education I aspire for at a university that I might not be able to afford otherwise. I plan to implement the financial skills taught to me by Everfi for the rest of my life. I have plans to begin investing in the stock market once I feel I have a comfortable enough budget. I would have never known how to invest or even what the stock market was if not for the education provided by this program. I know that in the future, whether I’m buying a car, renting an apartment, or anything else that has to do with money, I can have confidence and knowledge behind my decisions.
To learn more about EverFi – Financial Literacy, visit: http://everfi.com/k12/everfi-k-12-finliteracy/
Today we’re featuring a guest post from Middle Schooler Jocelyn who shares how the Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility course taught her how technology works and how to use it responsibly. Congrats to Jocelyn for being one of our student blog contest winners!
Student: Jocelyn C.
Teacher: Alice Toler
School: Mary Potter Middle
State: North Carolina
Sponsor: National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), Charlotte Hurricanes
There are many ways in which Ignition has positively impacted my life. Thanks to Ignition, I now know that there are ways in which I can help prevent someone from doing something bad using technology. I also know that even the smallest joke can be considered cyberbullying and that is a very bad thing to do. Another thing I learned was that I can prevent myself from being involved in fraud or spams by simply knowing what an authentic email looks like compared to a fake one. I also learned that I don’t have to go with default settings and, when creating an account on the internet, the less information I put, the safer I am. I also learned that there are ways to know whether an internet site is safe or not. Thanks to EverFi I know how to buy a computer depending on my needs. The information that EverFi has provided for me has changed the way in which I navigate the internet and how I use technology because now I know how to be safe and use technology in a good way. The lessons in EverFi will help me in the future because no matter what job I have I will probably use the internet and will know how to navigate it properly. EverFi has really helped me be better with how I use technology.
To learn more about Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility, visit: http://everfi.com/k12/ignition/
Today we’re featuring a guest post from Middle Schooler Destinee who shares how the Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility course taught her how technology works and how to use it responsibly to help her meet her goals. Congrats to Destinee for being one of our student blog contest winners!
Student: Destinee T
Teacher: Minnie Abdu
School: Bailey APAC Middle School
Sponsor: Community Foundation of Nothwest Mississippi
The world is at a time when technology is becoming bigger and bigger. It’s exciting and a little frighting to see where technology will take us. EverFi was an engaging and really fun program for teaching me what I can do now. I was always interested in technology and EverFi gave me ideas about how to become better at using it. Ignition taught me how to plan and monitor my internet and texting use and the consequences for spending too much time online. This has helped me a lot because I used to spend too much time on the internet and I wanted to stop but didn’t know how. Ignition helped me get a plan to use the web more responsibly. I want to be a writer when I grow up and I’ve been wanting to start a blog. Ignition gave me a few ideas of what to do. It also taught me what I can’t post online because of copyright and reminded me not to be a cyberbully. I also learned what to do if I am cyber bullied myself. Overall, I’m really glad my teacher assigned EverFi Ignition to use and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in my ICT class so far. As technology continues to develop I will use what I learned from EverFi Ignition to keep me up to date and safe.
To learn more about Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility, visit: http://everfi.com/k12/ignition/
At EverFi, we are so grateful to all of the educators out there currently using technology in the classroom in an innovative way. Using one of our engaging critical skills courses is a great way to get started if you are not already getting digital in the classroom!
We have some compelling resources on a wide variety of topics including STEM readiness, Financial Education, Diversity & Inclusion, Career Leadership & Success, and Health & Wellness.
If you are already familiar with EverFi courses, today is the perfect day to choose one online learning module for your students to complete. Once you do this, add your name and event to the national map on the Digital Learning Day website. Here are some of our favorite modules to use:
Vault – Understanding Money™
Module 3: Making Plans with Money
Needs v. Wants
Whether it’s food, rent, or Internet, every household has many expenses they must cover. In this activity, students explore the difference between needs and wants, and learn the importance of opportunity cost.
Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™
Module 5: The Pass
Exploring Angles & Reflection
The right angle makes all the difference between victory and defeat. Every bank pass is a lesson in the law of reflection. In this module students learn to measure angles in the real-world setting of a hockey game.
306 – African-American History™
Module 8: Tuskegee Institute
Your students become journalists as they interview Booker T. Washington about his life and accomplishments. They choose the questions to ask, and are rewarded by hearing Mr. Washington respond using his own historically-accurate words and voice.
We hope you and your students enjoy these resources and have an awesome digital learning day! If you need to get set up with one of these courses, simply visit everfi.com/login and Register.
Today we’re featuring a guest post from 8th Grader Shanza who shares how the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ course taught her math and science skills through real-life scenarios. Congrats to Shanza for being one of our student blog contest winners!
Student: Shanza A.
Teacher: David Lai
School: Thomas Johnson Middle School
Sponsor: NHL, NHLPA, and the Washington Capitals
Hockey may seem like a simple and effortless sport to play, but Hockey Scholar taught me that there is more to hockey than it seems. In hockey, players have personal preferences. From the type of blade on their skate, to the weight of their equipment, no player will skate the same. Every split second decision a player makes will dictate how they play, like the way a player holds their stick to the weight of their equipment. As insignificant as one thing may seem, the more important the effect. Before all I knew about skates was that there are different sizes available and that you could sharpen them. One thing I learned that has a major impact on the way players skate is the radius of hollow. The way the players’ skate blades are sharpened changes their hollow, which affects how much of the blade digs into the ice. Skates with a deeper hollow can make sharper turns. Skates with a shallow hollow allow players to skate on top of the ice and move sideways on the ice. Goalies tend to have shallower hollows to help them move side to side. My favorite activity from the course was Game 3: Speed- Math (Advanced). This was because it mainly discussed one of my favorite things to learn about, speed. I find everything about speed intriguing and I learned more about it while taking the Hockey Scholar course. A lot of math goes into finding and learning about speed. For example, the activities in this particular game asked you to calculate the player’s speed in meters per second for both the long and short sprint. I love math, so this activity and course was very fun to do!
To learn more about Hockey Scholar, visit: http://everfi.com/k12/hockeyscholar/
This past fall, EverFi proudly partnered with BB&T to launch a student blog contest to teachers and students across more than 800 high schools that use the BB&T Financial Foundations program in their classrooms. After students completed the financial education course, they had the opportunity to download and play BB&T’s web-based leadership app, LEGACY: A BB&T Leadership Challenge, and were invited to write a short essay on what leadership means to them.
We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s blog contest! These four students demonstrated a deep understanding of what leadership means to them, and their thoughtful essays inspired all of us.
Tytiana, a student at Elite Scholars Academy in Georgia, shared her views on what it means to be an effective leader:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a good leader. In the minds of some, being a leader is mainly focused on power, will, and fear. However through the LEGACY game I have learned that being a leader is a goal for the common man or woman who seeks change. Leaders have to be relatable to others. Being an effective leader is about learning to understand, having the patience to succeed, and being able to make the best decisions possible for you and others around you.”
Caleb, a student at Pasquotank County High School in North Carolina, shared his realization that leadership comes in a wide variety of forms:
“There are two sides of a good leader. There is a mental side and a social side. Before playing LEGACY: A Leadership Challenge, I tended to just focus toward the mental side. This means doing anything that they can to get the job done, hoping for a better future, repeating your good habits and eliminating your old. The mental side is very important. But the social side is just as important. To be a good leader, you must be able to communicate with people effectively. This is what I had to do in LEGACY. I had to communicate with the other characters in a kind yet straightforward way. This is what my father, the leader I look up to in my life, does very well. He was a worker at Lowes. He rarely took days off. He was a very social person. Customers tended to wait the extra minute or two just to be served by my dad, something that my whole family is very proud of. My father’s salary was diminutive compared to many other people in society, but he loved his job. That’s what put him above his counterparts. That’s what puts society’s great leaders above the rest. Their drive. Their willingness to work for what they want. That’s where I want to be.”
Lola, a student at Veterans High School in Georgia, wrote about how the LEGACY game expanded her view on what it means to be an effective leader:
“My previous idea of a leader was a person who could wield authority; something like an army sergeant. While authority is a good leadership trait, another commonly overlooked trait a of good leader is tact. People are brought up with their own beliefs and ideas of right and wrong. To be an effective leader, one has to go about the right way of introducing your followers to another way of seeing or doing things — without demeaning what they already know. Being a leader is about so much more than possessing authority; it’s about using your influence to help better others. I can only be grateful that this has been brought to my attention early in life, giving me the opportunity to grow in this area and share my newfound knowledge with others.”
Eric, a student at West Forsyth High School in North Carolina, cited an example of a leader in his life who has inspired him:
“Leadership is a defining quality of an individual. A great leader incorporates a multitude of qualities such as being trustworthy, engaged, and empowering while consistently maintaining a positive outlook under intense stress and against all odds. I learned important leadership qualities over this year’s Academy of Finance summer internship from my mentor, Angus Reid. Everyday Mr. Reid organizes and communicates effectively with different clients, tenants, and workers in an elevated sense of respect, positivity, and initiative. His ability to adapt to each individual’s needs and respectfully delegate tasks make him a fantastic leader.”
Congratulations again to our four winners, who each received a $500 gift card. You all have a bright future ahead of you! And many thanks to the dedicated teachers who submitted these winning essays on behalf of their students.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last week, Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, a panel of players from the Denver Nuggets, and more than 80 students from West Leadership Academy in Denver gathered to celebrate the launch of EverFi’s 306: African-American History course this spring semester. The Nuggets are making this program available to all 9-12 graders, at no cost to the academy.
Lt. Governor Garcia kicked off the event by sharing personal anecdotes about the positive impact of his diverse upbringing and asked students to reflect on the importance of studying other cultures and learning shared values.
In its third year of operation, West Leadership Academy has a 95% minority enrollment, which includes a 91% hispanic student population. The school was built as part of an initiative to revive a neighboring school with the district’s lowest graduation rate and prepare students to be college-ready.
College-readiness is a central goal of Lt. Governor Garcia’s as well. In his remarks to students, he shared his mission to ensure that students of all backgrounds are equally represented and equally successful in higher education. He also urged students to seek help from their teachers and their community. “If you’re willing to put effort in, there are folks who want to help you be successful,” Garcia advised. “And I want to emphasize that if you’re struggling, these are some of the people who want to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask.”
Clearly, the West Leadership Academy students found common ground with Garcia. “The Lt. Governor really resonated with me,” said student Luis Carrasco. “Knowing he is Latino and the position that he is in, that’s really motivating and makes us think that we can do it too.”
The NBA panel, comprised current and former Denver Nuggets players Randy Foye, Mark Randall, and Jameer Nelson, answered students’ questions about why multicultural education is so important and provided advice on overcoming adversity and achieving personal goals. “Don’t be caught up in what you’re not,” challenged former NBA player Mark Randall. “Be caught up in what you are and what you can do.”
In the coming weeks, students at West Leadership Academy will be taking EverFi’s 306: African-American History course. They will learn stories and themes of African-American women and men who have overcome obstacles through grit, strength, creativity, and intellect. The kickoff event encouraged students to dive deeper into the course and draw inspiration from it’s great stories. To learn more about 306 and about bringing this diversity & inclusion program into your community, click here >
Student: Vivian R.
Teacher: Jeanne Brist
School: Whitefish Middle School
Sponsor: American Bank
Vault has helped me a lot with money. I was really confused about what happened after my mom swiped her card at a store to pay for our needs and some wants. Now I know that after she swipes her credit card at the store it takes money out of her account and the store gets paid. I also used to be confused about checks. Thanks to Vault, I also know how that works! When you give someone a check you also write down a little note to yourself (that is what I like to call it) so you can keep track of how much money you still have in your account at the bank. If you didn’t write a note letting you know that you just spent $10, than you would not know that you spent that ten dollars and you would forget and think that you still had the ten dollars. That would be bad because then you would go to write someone else a check and you think that you still have ten dollars in your account and you have to pay the bank for your mistake. I have really enjoyed Vault and it has made an impact on my life! Vault can help anyone who is in middle school and has trouble understanding money, I know it helped me.
To learn more about Vault, visit: http://everfi.com/k12/vault-understanding-money/
Last week, Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy released its National Report Card on State Efforts To Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools. This study evaluates the personal finance education efforts of each state based on their graduation requirements, academic standards, and regulations regarding how personal-finance courses are delivered in public high schools.
For a state to get an A, high school students must be required to take the equivalent of a half-year personal-finance course in order to graduate. Only 5 states — Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah — earned that distinction. Twelve states received Fs on the national report card, while the majority of states received Bs and Cs.
This study underscores the critical need to make financial education a national priority and affirms that state-legislated financial education standards are an important part of the equation. But HOW states operationalize those standards to connect with students is also a huge part of producing measurable results. The study suggests that only state actors can help solve this challenge, but through EverFi’s work with more than 1000 private-sector partners, we are demonstrating that innovation from the both the public and private sectors can have real impact.
At a national level, EverFi’s high school students are making great strides in all 50 states. Last year alone, our students’ knowledge of savings rose 75%; understanding credit scores rose by an average of 39%; and the number of students who now feel prepared to apply for financial aid to help reach their dream of college increased by 79%.
In the “A” states that mandate a half-year personal-finance course, our work is highly scaled. For example in Virginia, since the 2011 legislation became active, 96% of public high schools are now partnering with EverFi to reach over 178,000 students. Alabama did not enact state standards until 2013 when they created a new required ninth-grade class, but EverFi is already working in 43% of those Alabama high schools with great results.
As the report shares and we can verify, even in “lower ranked” states we are seeing pockets of excellence led by courageous Superintendents and Principals in districts across the country, State Treasurers, and private-sector partners who are driving financial education innovation for millions of students nationwide. These leaders understand that work and life demand real critical skills, including financial education.
To the 90,000 teachers across 20,000 schools that help us deliver critical financial literacy education to students, thank you for continuing to be on the front lines of this important work with us.
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