Some Pike County Schools are taking an extra step to teach high school students how to handle money. It's part of a new initiative, endorsed by Governor Robert Bentley, to bring financial literacy into the classroom.
The program, which is sponsored by the First National Bank of Brundidge, will be implemented in six schools this year, including Pike County High School, Goshen High School, Charles Henderson High School, Pike Liberal Arts, Ariton High School, and Zion Chapel High School, without cost to the school system.
John Ramage, Vice President of First National Bank in Brundidge, says the EverFi program is endorsed by Alabama Treasurer, Young Boozer, as an effective way of using technology to teach students practical lessons about money. “When we go into the schools, we tell them, your credit report, your finances, they're like a grade point average. It doesn't take but one slip-up to really do some damage, and take years to overcome, so it just helps reinforce principles,” said Ramage.
The ten unit course rolls out this semester. School officials say timing is key. “When you think of the economic status of our country now, hopefully they'll be informed consumers, and they're never too young or it's never too early for them to learn,” said Donnella Carter, Administrative Assistant for Pike County Schools.
Lessons will range from balancing a checkbook to budgeting for bills. The course will be implemented into current classes, like government or social studies courses. "We try to do that as much as we can, interdisciplinary teaching, so that things kind of all make sense to students, how they work together, how they fit together, in the world,” said Carter.
Students at Pike County High School tell CBS 8 News the most important part is learning practical lessons they’ll use after high school. "It helps us learn more things about money, it's what we need, because you don't want to be broke when you get older, you need to know, you know, how to finance your money,” said Ariel Lampley, a Junior.
Teachers will be trained with the new program over the next two weeks before implementing into their lesson plans. Those courses will continue throughout at least the next school year.
In recognition of the bank’s support, Governor Robert Bentley is declaring Tuesday, October 9th The First National Bank of Brundidge Financial Literacy Day. The governor will sign a proclamation next week in Montgomery.