By Robert M. Church
While money doesn’t buy happiness, understanding finances is key to owning a home, starting a business, raising happy children, and being independent. When people struggle to understand their personal finance, they struggle to achieve, to live and be successful. By providing personal financial education in high schools and in underserved communities, people can be empowered to be financially fit and achieve a better future. The impact of implementing an engaging, comprehensive personal financial literacy course in high schools is both life-changing and inspiring.
Many schools approach meeting the broad standards covered under financial literacy education with offerings that fail to provide a comprehensive focus on the basic skills needed to manage personal finances. Additionally, support for financial literacy education programs offered by the business and financial services sector as solutions often focus on marketing opportunities and products offered by those entities, not on the needs of the students. Statistics suggest that even with all of the attention given to financial literacy education over the last 9 years, there continues to be a systemic lack of education and understanding of personal finances and a financial illiteracy epidemic that is currently plaguing our country.
#FitKit Programs are inspired curricula created by DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation (DMFLF), a non-profit dedicated to building a better tomorrow by educating people today, in order to forge a “Financially FIT America”. These comprehensive turn-key personal finance courses are available to schools and empower young adults with the knowledge they need for a lifetime of financial responsibility, growth and prosperity. They teach students the entire spectrum of fiscal topics necessary for success. The #FitKit engages students with the use of video, animation, humor, and social collaboration. Unit topics include: Income and Careers, Pay, Benefits and Deductions, Taxes, Budgeting, Banking, Savings and Investments, Credit, Insurance and more.
Young adults want to learn about money and appreciate the tools #FitKit gives them. Recently a student in Pennsylvania, named Andrew, felt so empowered by the FitKit materials, he spoke to his local Board of Education about it. He credits the FitKit course that was available to him in high school for preparing him for adulthood. “The course material is well rounded and easy to comprehend. In just five months, I was able to build a foundation in investing, budgeting, debt and taxes.” He continues to be a vocal promoter of FitKit in his local community.
Teachers see the ripple effects of financial literacy in families and communities too. While teaching the FitKit to his high school class, Chris gave his students an assignment that involved speaking to their parents about the family budget. When he got a call from one of the parents the next day, he braced himself for a complaint, but instead received a call of gratitude. “The parents said it was the first time their son ever asked about budgeting and has a new appreciation for how hard his parents struggle to provide for him. With financial literacy, Chris’s student can finally understand his parent’s reasons for denying luxuries such as expensive sneakers and video games.” What used to be a constant source of conflict is now an informed conversation.
Teaching people early in life to understand basic financial concepts helps them take personal responsibility for their futures, it follows that successful stable citizens make for a successful and stable economy, so it’s important for us as parents to ask what efforts are schools are making to teach students about personal finance?
DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation is a non-profit organization that relies on generous donors and volunteers who share the vision of giving a new generation the tools they need to be financially responsible and prosperous. If you want to offer your support with a tax-deductible gift, find out how you can sponsor a #FitKit in your school or community.