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WASHINGTON-As an extension of the High School Financial Planning Program, currently underway and sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education, CUNA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension, was brought into the U.S. House of Representatives page school last week. For many of the high school juniors, from around the country and even one from Africa, the page school is their first time away from home. The students receive some pay for being a House page, according to Synergy One Federal Credit Union (Va.) Community Relations Officer Patty Brown, who taught the financial education program with another volunteer from the cooperative extension, and may need help budgeting their expenses while working in the nation’s Capitol. “The kids are very attentive and bright. They seemed very engaged with this because this is all new to them,” Brown said. The students were instructed on setting financial goals and budgeting. Being around 16-years old, many of the students are thinking about saving for a first car, so the goal setting session and budgeting were especially applicable to the adolescents. One student said he had already taken out a computer loan with his parents and was working to pay it off, according to Brown. The classes last about 90 minutes each. The first class was broken into thirds with 72 students divided up to learn about goal setting and budgeting for a half hour each plus another 30 minutes spent playing a reinforcement and value testing game. For the students, who just arrived at the school Sunday, Brown commented “I felt like it was a lot of fun, very successful, and team building for them.” She will return in October to discuss savings and investing and again in November to explain credit and credit cards for another 90 minutes each to reinforce what the students learned and expand upon it. During the October class, the students will share their individual spending plans and, if they stuck to it, be eligible to enter a drawing for movie tickets. CUNA sponsors the workbooks for the classes, which the students are able to keep for review afterwards.

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