Teaching kids how to manage cashWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Children begin to learn about money matters at home, but have numerous opportunities to become financially knowledgeable at school.
Lessons about money management are included in math courses taught in both elementary and middle schools, according to Jan Kilbride, chief academic officer for Toledo Public Schools.
High school students can take courses such as personal finance and introduction to financial management as part of their regular curriculum.
Topics covered in personal finance include credit, economics, insurance, savings and taxes. Students learn rational decision-making processes to form personal financial decisions in their roles as citizens, consumers and workers.
Introduction to financial management is for both personal and occupational use, according to the TPS “Power of Learning” curriculum guide. It includes orientation, use of business forms and handling of many business-related functions.
Fifth Third Bank is working with Toledo Public Schools to educate students about managing their money. It offers a special program called “Get Smart About Credit” to students at the high school level.
The six-week program includes a general introduction to banking and credit, teaching students about responsible money management. It teaches students how to read a bank statement, manage a credit card, read a credit report, protect personal financial information and recognize signs of overspending.
“We make it relevant to students with real-life situations,” said Linda Ewing, vice president of community affairs at Fifth Third Bank.
The program is being offered at Waite High School, Polly Fox Academy and James C. Caldwell Community Center in North Toledo. Ewing said the bank is working to offer it at other high schools and academies or through church groups and nonprofit organizations.
The Get Smart About Credit program was developed for high school students and other audiences by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation (ABA).
Many people assume that basic personal finance is taught in high school, but less than 20 states require personal finance for graduation, according to the ABA. Only 69 percent of students scored a “C” or better in a 2006 survey taken to measure 12th grade students’ knowledge of personal finance basics.
Personal finance is a one-semester class offered as an elective in Toledo Public Schools.
The ABA and its member banks work closely with schools to prepare young adults for the financial responsibilities they will encounter when they graduate from high school. Parents are also a critical element in a young person’s financial education, according to the ABA.
KeyBank works with local schools through its branch offices. Bank employees are available to speak to classes about banking practices and money management.
“We encourage and empower our employees to get involved in school activities such as Junior Achievement programs,” said Mark Knierim, vice president of marketing in KeyBank’s district office for Northwest Ohio and Michigan located in Toledo.
KeyBank offers free student checking accounts with no minimum balance, maintenance or transaction fees. It includes an ATM card, online banking and bill payment. The student checking account can be linked to the parents’ account so they can transfer money between accounts. It automatically becomes a regular free checking account when students reach age 24, Knierim said.
Owens Community College offers a personal financial management course that deals with personal financial planning, credit and debits cards, budgeting, insurance, investments, taxes and other topics. April is National Financial Literacy Month with programs available for students and adults. Financial literacy involves understanding today’s complex financial services market that offers consumers a vast variety of products and providers to meet their financial needs.