Brian Page has ideas to bring financial literacy to every school. Whether you want games, curriculum, or to know what’s next in financial literacy, this is a must-listen podcast for anyone working with financial literacy in their school.
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5 Ways to Bring Financial Literacy into Any School
Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e295
Date: April 25, 2018
Vicki: Today we’re talking with one of my favorite financial literacy gurus, Brian Page about five ways to bring financial literacy into the classroom.
Now Brian, what is our first way?
Brian: Thanks for having me. I am excited to be on.
So I have to start with NextGen Personal Finance. https://www.ngpf.org/
#1 – NextGen Personal Finance
NextGen Personal Finance and Tim Ranzetta, who is the founder, was just recognized earlier this week by Jumpstart https://www.jumpstartinc.org/#1 as really the leader in the industry.
He just received the pinnacle award, and that night, he announced that he would continue to give back and make the programming and the resources free. He dedicated 25 million more dollars over the next ten years to iensurethat he could do that.
The organization is full of up to date resources that include anything from lessons that are comprehensive, a turnkey semester class, a turnkey 9-week class, a turnkey trimester class to single activities that are interactive that teachers can use.
He has games that he’s developed. He has a blog post. He has podcasts to keep teachers current on evolving content.
He’s dedicated to providing training throughout the country. He just had a national conference in San Francisco that was entirely sponsored and had 110 teachers in to provide three days of training.
Over the summer, he’s posting all kinds of Fin Camps — one, two and three day Fin Camps in various states across the nation that teachers can attend for free.
The other thing that I love, beyond how comprehensive their curriculum is, is that he has a large full time staff who listens to teachers. They are constantly updating it, which is particularly necessary in the financial space, where it’s constantly evolving.
And the other thing that sticks out is that it’s primarily shared through Google Drive. So, many teachers are like me, where they like to take lessons or sources and “tweak” them, based on what’s best for their specific students. By having everything on Drive makes it really easy to go in and make small little subtle tweaks.
Brian: So that’s… Yeah! Yeah, I’m excited about that one.
Vicki: Great! What’s our second?
Brian: Our second is a complete resource dump. There’s so much out there. I wanted to bring to light some other resources people can look into later.
#2 – Several Other Resources
NEFE https://www.nefe.org/ is a great resource for students in high school and in college. They have great lessons on their website as well. They have a terrific Life Values Quiz that I love to use.
The Counsel for Economic Education https://www.councilforeconed.org/ is terrific, not just for financial literacy teachers, but for teachers who teach economics.
Knowledge at Wharton High School http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu/ is an extensive website full of podcasts and articles and lessons. I was on a team that developed quite a few lessons that are downloadable. They’re free. Some other great rockstar teachers helped with that. Lisa Bender and Lois Stalljack.
Jumpstart, of course. https://www.jumpstartinc.org/ They have a clearinghouse that allows teachers to dive in and enter search criteria and filter out specific lessons for them — and then take charge today.
And finally, GFLEC http://gflec.org/ has micro-credentials. So if you Google Gfleck there are twenty micro credentials that I created along with other stand out people who really led the project. The thinking behind that is to attach teaching methodologies to specific topics. The methodologies that are coupled with the topics are evidence-based.
Brian: You can show that that methodology is effective for that topic.
So that’s my Number Two, and I know that that’s about fifty…
Vicki: Oh, but that’s fine. Teachers will love all of those links that we will put in the Shownotes, like we always do.
Vicki: OK. So what is our third?
Brian: The third is Time for Payback https://www.timeforpayback.com/
#3 – Time for Payback
It was created and it was funded by NextGen Personal Finance.
It was announced — or I should say it was released a few months ago, and then the New York Times did a really good article on them.
And essentially, the founder of NextGen Personal Finance saw that the game “Spent” — which is really popular for financial literacy teachers — was really effective. Teachers loved it for a number of reasons. So he hired the same company who developed that game to also develop this game.
The goal of the game is for students to experience the types of decisions that you have to make just prior to college and through college that you don’t necessarily think about.
We always think about, you know, how much to borrow, and interest rates, and on and on.
But he gets you to think about how to make the day to day decisions that are tough. Do you work and take time away from social life and enjoy college less? Or do you join a fraternity? Are you able to sign up for your classes on time?
So you’re constantly introduced to these little daily dilemmas that all of us face in college.
And then it scores you, based upon how you do.
Vicki: So is this a little simulation, or are others in it, or is it just kind of independent with you in it?
Brian: It is an independent simulation, and it takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes. It’s probably the best tool base that I’ve ever seen to help teach kids about college.
Vicki: WOW. That’s a great endorsement. Very cool.
OK, what’s our fourth?
Brian: Our fourth would be VISA’s Financial Football Game https://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/play/financial_football .
#4 VISA’s Financial Football Game
They are going to be very soon releasing a new iteration of it in the next couple of months.
I was thrilled to be on the team that did some of the question revisions. It’s a really fun way to introduce financial literacy quiz questions, like Quiz Bowl format, questions in classrooms, anywhere from elementary to high school students.
They also have Financial Soccer.
They have a big announcement coming in the next couple of months on a story-based game. I unfortunately can’t go into any detail, but I was thrilled to be on the team for that. I can assure you that it’s something that people have never seen before. It’s an engaging way for students to experience the type of personal finance decisions you have to make on a daily basis. Then, based on their choices, they’re sent in different directions.
So, this whole story is riddled with financial landmines that are tough to face. The challenge is, can teens face those, and then end up winning the game?
Vicki: Oh, very cool.
OK, what’s our last one?
Brian: The last is a challenge to the listeners.
#5 – A Challenge to You
So I was able to partner with United Way and bring United Way in to file tax returns with my students.
So my students brought their W-2s and any other paperwork that was needed, and United Way volunteers sat with my students throughout each of the bells that I teach, and they filed their tax returns with them.
A lot of people forget that teens oftentimes have earned income. I saw a statistic once that only 3% of teens file a return, yet 25% of teens have earned income. So you have all of these teens out there working, and we know the standard deduction next year is $12,000 — meaning they’re going to get every penny back that they paid in federal taxes, assuming that they didn’t put themselves as exempt.
So the conclusion of the day? My students received $6,500 in tax refunds.
It’s something any teacher can do.
Vicki: Wow. Of course, you’ll have to check with the parents and see who’s being claimed where.
Brian: Oh yeah!
Vicki: That’s awesome!
OK, so we have all of these different resources.
Let’s finish up with this. Brian, do you think there are schools that are still not covering financial literacy? I can’t imagine how, but is it doable.
I KNOW there are!
If you go to NextGen Personal Finance’s website, they have up in the upper right hand corner a #finhero, and it was an extensive project where not only did somebody survey 85% of high schools in the United States, but they build out all of these advocacy tools that teachers could use if they wanted to advocate for financial literacy.
So what they found in the process was that only 1 in 6 students are receiving financial education in the United States.
Brian: So, just think about how detrimental it is for an 18 year old whose single decisions are compounding through their entire life.
If they miss a payment, they don’t know that it’s on the credit report for 7 years.
If they misuse a credit card, they don’t understand how it affects their credit score.
If they don’t start investing for retirement when they’re young, they miss out on compounding and will never have the opportunity to retire.
You can go on and on about all of these adult-like decisions we’re asking students to make before they even graduate high school, and we’re never giving them the tools to make those decisions.
Vicki: You know what? If a school claims that it’s “future ready” and they’re not giving every student access to financial literacy, they can just stop pretending that they’re future ready.
Because if you’re not ready to manage money, you’re not ready for your future.
Brian: Very well said.
So teachers, advocate for it.
We’ve given you lots of resources. There will be lots included on the blog post accompanying this.
Financial literacy is just something that we all have to do. We all have ideas for what we can do.
Brian Page is a fantastic resource, as you can tell. He’s got a lot of impact happening with financial literacy programs around the country.
Let’s do this!
Brian: Sounds great! Please, others, get on board.
Let’s make this happen. Let’s make change happen.
Let’s get personal finance skills in every classroom!
Contact us about the show: https://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/
Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford [email protected]
Financial Literacy Resources
1. NGPF: http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu/
2. Other great resources include:
– NEFE https://www.nefe.org/
– Council for Economic Education https://www.councilforeconed.org/
– Knowledge @ Wharton HS http://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu/
– Jump$tart https://www.jumpstart.org/
– Take Charge Today https://takechargetoday.arizona.edu/
– GFLEC Microcredentials http://gflec.org/education/financial-literacy-micro-credentials/
3. Payback (College Game): https://www.timeforpayback.com/
4. VISA games financial football: https://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/play/financial_football
5. Tax Filing day
Bio as submitted
Brian Page loves to teach personal finance at Reading Community City Schools in Ohio, where he was named the ’11 Milken National Educator Recipient and CNN Money Hero. He served on the Working Group for President Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He is happily married with three children and has the world’s best dog.
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