Fidelity, UC Offer Virtual Financial Literacy Teacher Training So Students Can Save Money
By Maridith Yahl
Fifty educators from the region are participating in a four-part virtual training series on financial literacy with Fidelity Investments and the University of Cincinnati Alpaugh Family Economics Center.
This unique approach to improving student financial literacy works by increasing teacher knowledge and confidence while engaging stakeholders and employees in this important work.
“Fidelity Investments is committed to serving the community in two areas, the areas of financial literacy and education. What we do know is that students need a solid education and then build on financial literacy concepts, ”says Megan Wolfer, Director, Community Relations, Fidelity Investments.
At Fidelity, providing financial expertise to clients is what they do best. For this educator training, they use the same concept to teach teachers who will then help their students to empower, Wolfer explains.
Financial literacy training is badly needed. Research indicates that only 27% of young adults have a basic understanding of financial literacy. Those without this basic knowledge are less likely to be financially secure as adults.
Households or people who are less financially literate are more likely to take out payday loans, to pay only the minimum balance on a credit card, to take out high-cost mortgages, to have low levels of income. higher debt and being behind on debt.
Fidelity Investments launched this program in 2015. Nationally, they have trained more than 2,600 teachers, reaching 275,000 students. Locally, 200 teachers were trained, reaching 20,000 Commonwealth students.
The training prepares teachers to help students meet the high school graduation requirements in financial literacy for Kentucky Schools KRS 158.1411, which comes into effect this school year.
“We are so fortunate to have such a great partner in Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball. She is so determined to advance financial literacy work in this region. Treasurer Ball really views this offer, this virtual personal finance workshop, as a great way to prepare teachers and support teachers on this journey, ”Wolfer said.
Grant County Schools Teacher Stephanie Turner sees a huge need for her high school students. She says they are old enough to find a job and need to learn how to budget. They just want to go out and spend their earnings and not save, she said.
When his students receive a large salary, it leaves them with a hole in their pockets.
“They want to spend that money, but just talk to them about saving that money, maybe saving so they can buy a car, or saving so they can get your first apartment, or just that aspect of saving money,” says Turner.
She now has the tools and resources to explain budgeting and other concepts to her students.
“Being able to teach them some of this financial knowledge and savings and credit cards and loans and things like that is really good in helping our future America as far as financial stability,” Turner said. .
Turner didn’t have a program like this when she was in school. It’s exciting for her to learn and to be able to bring it back to her students. She used all the training sessions, not just the ones required, getting all the resources provided. She is working hard to make the most of this opportunity.
“I want to make the most of this course so I can bring it back to my school,” Turner explains. “We’re talking about real life situations, but we’re not really talking about what happens after we graduate, how we manage our money, how we achieve these goals, and how we budget. . ”
Additionally, more rigorous ﬁ nancial education leads to positive behavioral training and better outcomes, such as improved credit scores and lower credit delinquency.
In Kentucky, only 30% of people can correctly answer four or five questions on a basic financial literacy quiz. In addition, 46% of individuals do not have funds for rainy days.
This year’s program at Covington is the launch of a pilot project that will be a nationwide virtual program, Wolfer said. Teachers come together in a virtual environment using a collaborative online learning platform.
They learn financial education concepts, including how best to present the topic to students, while broadening teachers’ understanding of financial concepts. This is done through live sessions, panel presentations and interactive games and activities. By working with other program participants, they learn to apply what they have learned to the curriculum.
“Our support for teachers does not end with this program, our commitment to them certainly does not end with [the conclusion of this program]. We also support them in the classroom, so there will be opportunities for teachers like Stephanie to connect virtually, ”says Wolfer.
95% of teachers who took part in previous training said it helped them better instruct students on financial education topics.
“It’s about making these good habits and making investments, savings, emergency funds and things that people don’t really think about, especially a teenager or young child,” says Turner.