Back on Saturday, February 5th we were thrilled to share the day with over 200 teens and their families or mentors during the Passport to Financial Literacy event at Howard Community College. Middle and high school students came out on a dreary Saturday morning to spend a couple hours in a financial simulation event created by local author, Marlena Jareaux.
In the event, students were in the driver’s seat as they chose how far they would go with their education, selected a career, and created their constructed adult life. After receiving their salary level, they learned about taxes, banking, saving, budgeting, credit, debt, and so much more. They proceeded through 20 decision stations hosted by event sponsors and community volunteers. (There were a whopping 55 volunteers on-site for the event!)
Even though a few weeks have passed since the event, we remain inspired by the number of families that came out that day. Financial education is a hot topic in the news right now. Schools are increasingly integrating financial education content throughout the curriculum to meet the new 2011 MD State Dept of Education requirements. And, the legislature is gearing up again this session to discuss whether there should be a mandated financial education graduation requirement. In the meantime, we’re just so pleased that while all this is being hashed out, parents and caregivers aren’t waiting. They are seeking out the opportunity to engage in a conversation about money with their kids. Having this type of simulation makes it a little easier to get the conversation started, too.
In future weeks, we’ll share some great resources that can help parents continue this conversation at home. The key is to keep talking — they really are listening!