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Is there a financial education crisis?

The financial future for many kids across our country continues to look uncertain. The Legislature changes in 2015 that require financial education for school curriculum have been slow to incorporate.

In fact, not one single state has added personal finance to their K-12 standards since 2016 according to the 2018 Survey of the States. While many school districts are left unsure how to incorporate financial literacy into school curriculum, Spokane Valley based Numerica Credit Union has continued to create a program that seamlessly integrates into school curriculum while supporting educators and the community.

As a local community credit union, Numerica has been partnering with schools for years to help provide financial literacy. In 2014, the credit union introduced a robust education program to schools and community action agencies.

Numerica’s free program meets state requirements for FEPPP (Financial Education Public Private Partnership) curriculum and provides dynamic subject matter experts as a resource for area teachers.

What is personal financial literacy and why it is important

Simply put, “personal financial literacy” is knowing how to spend, save, and share your money wisely.

Understanding personal finance is more important now than ever. From predatory loan practices, high interest rate credit cards, and not understanding basics of budgeting or saving, there are few places that teens are learning about money.

“Parents are more apt to talk to their teen about substances or sex than money,” said Katie Scofield, Numerica Credit Union’s Financial Education Officer. “When it comes to teaching kids about money, educators are overworked already have a full plate of courses to teach. So, that is where Numerica comes in!”

Generally, integration of personal financial literacy for students seemed to resonate. The amended Washington Legislature in 2016 improved student’s scores from a grade F to a C according to the National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools.

What is taught in a financial literacy class?

Numerica worked closely with superintendents and teachers to develop curricula and educational materials that not only face financial concerns in today’s world, but would help prepare them for a better financial future.

The program isn’t just a “one and done” model but provides multiple weeks for a lesson plan or topic. Numerica representatives teach 45-60 minute classes, typically once a week for 10-weeks.

Session 1: Making Goals

Testing current financial knowledge and introducing how to make goals that are S.M.A.R.T.  (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and has a time frame to be achieved).

Sessions 2 & 3: Credit

Students learn about the good and bad sides of credit. Why credit is useful and how to use it responsibly. We discuss interest rates and how that will impact their loan repayment as well as the total cost of using credit.

Session 4: Budgeting

Budgeting is tough. If we learn good habits when we’re young, they’re more likely to stick as adults. Students learn about creating a real budget based on a real income. (And maybe, will get a sneak-peak into their spending habits!)

Session 5: Getting a Job

It’s hard to think about saving money when you aren’t even earning money. In this module, students learn tips and tricks that will help them nail an interview. Mock interviews can also be a part of this module if requested.

Session 6: Investing

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future and what it might look like. This module covers the difference between stock, bond and mutual funds, Rule of 72, and the power of compounding interest. Stock market ebbs and flows is also covered.

Session 7: Fraud

Part of financial well-being is keeping your personal information safe and secure. Topics covered include: counterfeit money, checks, ID theft, and much more.

Session 8: Check Writing/Social Media

While writing a check may not be an everyday occurrence, it’s important to know how when you need to! We also cover how to spot a bad check, how social media might be putting you at risk, and online scams.

Session 9: Financial Simulation

Whether taught in class, on the computer, or with more face-to-face interaction, this is a great opportunity to put learned skills to work. If the teacher opts for the 90-minute, face-to-face module, students get hands-on experience executing a budget based on financial decisions.

Session 10: Evaluation

A quick test to see how much the class has learned. This session highlights parting thoughts from the program while students bring up any additional financial questions.

How much does this program cost?

Numerica’s Financial Education program is free and flexible. If there is a certain focus area or project teachers would like assistance with, our Financial Education team can help. Let’s work together to ensure our teens are given the necessary tools to save, spend, and budget responsibly and successfully.

Are there other benefits of Numerica’s Financial Education program?

Having a better relationship with money is the best benefit of the program. 
Numerica believes in helping our communities live well, and education is an important factor of living well. High school juniors and seniors who complete the five, seven, or ten-week Numerica Financial Education program at their school are eligible to apply for the Financial Education Scholarship. Two scholarships are available for $2,500 to pursue higher education.

Which high schools is Numerica teaching at?

Coeur d’Alene High Schools

  • Coeur d’Alene High School – Teachers: Brown and Kluss
  • Lake City High School – Teacher: Jewell

Spokane and Spokane Valley High Schools

  • Central Valley High School – Teacher: Teterud
  • East Valley High School - Teacher: Adcock
  • East Valley School District – Teacher: Becker
  • Ferris High School - Teacher: Wolf
  • North Central High School – Teacher: Ortega
  • Rogers High School – Teachers: Kissinger and Soter
  • Spokane Valley High School – Teacher: Noel
  • University High School – Teacher: Parker
  • The Community School
  • Spokane Valley Tech - Teacher: Farrow

Tri-City High Schools

  • Kennewick High School – Teacher: Almaguer

Wenatchee Valley High Schools

  • Westside High School – Teacher: Morrow
  • Wenatchee High School – Teachers: Andrewjeski and Bitle

Don’t see your school? Please share more about the program with your teacher, principal, or superintendent.

Contact Financial Education Team

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