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As is the case with most all subjects, education regarding financial literacy certainly does and should begin in the home. As parents we set examples for our children as they grow with every financial decision they witness. Everything from purchases on the credit card, decisions to save or “pay yourself first” and whether or not to eat out or at home are all noted by them. It is certainly often too little too late when an adult decides to become financially fit, or at the very least, it creates for a stressful situation that possibly could have been avoided. How, then, can we begin to encourage financial fitness in our young students, and carry on the education in a meaningful way through high school and beyond? Fortunately there are many resources available to both teachers and parents to strengthen students’ knowledge of this most important information. As a teacher I participated yearly in The Stock Market Game. Information can be found about this great resource at http://www.smgww.org/. Students are given the opportunity to invest in an on-line portfolio with $100,000. What I love about this curriculum is teachers often find themselves learning about stocks for the first time through their students’ experiences! Many states have their own version based upon companies from their state only. Check with your state’s Council for Economic Education to see if that is an option for you! The Federal Reserve also offers great lessons including some on financial literacy for secondary students (and videos) http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/ A handy map of the US on their website will help you determine your reserve district so that you might find additional local resources. Finally, Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations seeking to improve financial literacy at all grade levels. Visit their online library of financial resources here: http://www.jumpstart.org/
If you are interested in checking out your own financial fitness, take TCI’s Financial Fitness Quiz! This nifty tool is part of our dynamic econ program, Econ Alive! The Power to Choose which sports a Toolkit for Personal Financial Literacy.