VACAVILLE, Calif. -- Travis Credit Union is filling the financial education needs of Napa and Solano County High School students with a new program.
The curriculum is six short units taught in 10-hours that are strictly non-commercial in content. Written by teachers for teachers through the National Endowment for Financial Education the program teaches goal setting, budgeting, saving and the wise use of credit using unique games, simulations, case studies, and interactive exercises to provide hands-on experience for students.
There are three main purposes of the program; teach the financial planning process, provide students with the opportunity to apply the process through simulation exercises, and enable teens to take control of their finances now and in their adult life.
When a recent study on the financial literacy needs of Solano County revealed a gap for the community's youth the credit union joined forces with the Superintendent of Schools here to lend a hand.
"Travis Credit Union is committed to educating our members and potential members living in our 12-county service region about their finances to ensure they are aware of their options to make their financial lives happier," said Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, president and CEO of Travis CU. "It is hoped this curriculum will prepare students with life-long personal financial management skills."
Will C. Wood High in the Vacaville Unified School District, Vanden High School in the Travis Unified School District and the Napa County Office of Education decided to pilot the program this spring.
Will C. Wood High has three teachers participating and will reach 300 students in Business Math, Career, Virtual Enterprise and Economics classes. At Vanden High, two teachers are offering the curriculum in their Recordkeeping, Introduction to Business, Work Experience, Applied Economics and Personal Development classes. Finally, the Napa County Office of Education is using the program to reach 240 at-risk youth. Travis Credit Union hopes to offer this program to additional high schools beginning next year.
"By participating in the program teachers receive free tested curriculum and support materials. Also, financial support is provided to the School District that implements the program within required or elective course curriculum. The District is encouraged to use this money for teacher and/or student incentives," said Van Ouwerkerk.
The teachers benefit from complete curriculum, teachers' guides and student workbooks, free 101 Financial Lessons Newsletter with teaching tips, and financial support for classroom supplies, and the materials are linked in each unit to State and National Standards in three curriculum areas: Family and Consumer Sciences, Mathematics, and Social Studies-Economics.
An intra-school competition is planned during Travis $mart Money Week in June to reinforce and allow students to put what they've learned into use.