BENEFITING: FINANCIAL BEGINNINGS
Financial Beginnings seeking funding to provide its Financial Foundations financial literacy program to 12,000 youth and young adults aged 9 to 25 throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Financial Beginnings’ Financial Foundations program is a ten hour curriculum with five topics (two hours each): Banking Basics, Credit, Saving & Investing, Insurance, and Entrepreneurship. The Financial Foundations program teaches students how to adeptly navigate banking, credit and insurance industries, actively participate in these industries, and how to responsibly manage their personal finances. Proficiencies gained include, among others: (1) Budgeting including balancing a checkbook, and planning for expenses; (2) Distinguishing between and understanding the role of banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations; (3)Time value of money and the advantages to saving; (4) Understanding credit and insurance and (5) Business finances and entrepreneurship.
Students are engaged through fun games and activities that relate critical financial information to real-life goals and experiences such as a checkbook balancing activity, brainstorming on how to cut back on expenses, reviewing credit applications, calculating interest, dissecting case study auto accident reports to identify coverage and liability, analyzing the spending habits of two (fictional) people, and going through the steps of opening a bank account. Instead of reciting terms from a textbook, our volunteers rely on real issues -- buying a bike, saving for college and spending money on fast food. In addition to financial education, the students are left with a sense of empowerment and responsibility. Many of the 600 trained volunteers who teach this curriculum are finance and business professionals. They supplement curriculum with stories and lessons from their professional work while serving as positive adult role models.
Financial Beginnings works with participating schools to determine a schedule that best suits their needs and with minimal interruption to the daily school schedule. Most schools work Financial Beginnings' program into existing class hours wherein a session would take the place of a regular math hour, economics hour, or social sciences hour. Each of the five sessions are approximately two hours in length and typically occur over two or three meeting times. Many schools schedule more than one session for several grade levels.