If you read the current news about personal finance, it will come as no surprise that a majority of kids and teens in the United States are not well-versed in how to manage their money. What may surprise you, however, is that students in Alabama fare better than those in many other states.
According to WalletHub’s 2017 financial literacy survey, Alabama ranks 38th in the nation in overall financial literacy, and 15th nationwide in Knowledge and Financial Education. Thank the Alabama Council on Economic Education for helping to educate the state’s residents on how to manage their money. ACEE, a non-profit organization founded in 1969, works to ensure that students throughout the state have educational tools available to them that can help them become more financially savvy. High school students in Alabama are required to study both economics and personal finance as part of their graduation requirements, and ACEE provides both teacher training and resources for these courses.
ACEE also holds workshops to prepare teachers to coach teams in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Stock Market Game, Invest It Forward and other activities, covered in detail in last month’s column. The group also oversees the National Personal Finance Challenge in schools throughout the state.
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Teacher training has paid off locally; a team from Grissom High School in Huntsville, coached by teacher Suzanne Bailey, won the Alabama Economics Challenge this past school year. More important than the win, however, is knowing that the students are prepared to succeed financially throughout their lives.
Here’s more good news: Hundreds of lessons are available to both teachers and parents through ACEE’s affiliate website, The Council for Economic Education. The site features videos and activities on a multitude of economic and personal finance topics, including credit, taxes, gross domestic product. Does your teen want to buy a new car? There’s a lesson on that, too. There’s even a segment on learning economics with Minecraft. If you’re looking for something for the kids to do on a rainy summer day, this site is a great resource.
Personal finance education is vital to our children’s success, and there are plenty of resources to help you along as you teach them to become money savvy. You’ll be glad you give your kids this edge as they grow up.
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