Financial habits are shaped at an early age. But when it comes to financial education in public schools, the statistics are concerning. Only 17 states require a personal finance course for high schoolers. Additionally, The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found that “fifteen-year-old Americans do not have an adequate level of financial literacy for the United States to maintain a retirement system that relies heavily on individual decision making.”
So what do content creators, media gurus, financial influencers, and money nerds do when presented with these statistics? They roll up their sleeves and get to work. Literally.
Answering the Call to Action
At #FinCon18, over 650 participants answered the call to give more young people access to financial literacy. Attendees partnered with HandsOn Orlando for a community service project on Wednesday, September 26, to promote both financial literacy and STEM skills in underserved local schools.
Volunteers created two kinds of kits focused on either financial literacy or STEM skills. The financial literacy kits were designed to help students foster saving skills at an early age. Third-grade students were the target audience for each kit. The kits included piggy banks, $1 in coins, and materials created to help students understand more about savings. To add an extra surprise, volunteers also designed puzzles with money sayings or riddles for kids to piece together.
Volunteers also make STEM kits, and critical thinking was the focus. Volunteers created messages on Morse code bracelets and made coders to help students crack the messages. For more hands-on fun, volunteers also made puzzles with STEM problems for students to solve.
Taking Financial Literacy to Orlando Schools
The activities in each kit its brought out the former kid in our volunteers. So many volunteers couldn’t resist the urge to create more than one. As a result, volunteers created over 650 kits in just under two hours time.
Volunteers’ efforts made an impact right away. NEFE and HandsOn Orlando started delivering materials to area schools the next day. Thanks to these volunteers, Orlando schools now have more tools to bring personal finance to the people who need it most: kids!