Credit for Life Fair by NGPF Fellow, Julie Giglia
Thanks to Julie Giglia, an NGPF Fellow and Business/Technology teacher at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School for this blog post. Julie strives to use technology in the classroom to enhance learning and make education innovative and fun for her students. Connect with her on Twitter @julegig or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In six months, April 2018, it will be National Financial Literacy month and one thing schools can do is host a Credit for Life Fair. The Credit for Life Fair is a nationally recognized program designed to help high school students develop personal financial management skills that they will use throughout their live.
In April of 2017, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, located in Whitman, Massachusetts, participated in their second annual Credit for Life Fair to foster financial literacy for senior students and the daylong event was held in the high school gymnasium. A Credit for Life is a reality fair that is an interactive exercise where students visit booths to learn about financial decisions for various services and living expenses such as cell phone, clothing, groceries, renting an apartment, leasing or buying a car, and community service options.
Throughout the process students are challenged to balance their budgets and it isn’t always easy. Students are given a monthly spending plan with self-selected future occupation, in which a monthly salary is assigned and students maneuver between 14 booths set up in our high school gymnasium. The booths are staffed by local businesses (banks, insurance companies, car dealer) and the volunteers discuss to students the costs of clothing, groceries, and luxury items. The major sponsor was Mutual Bank which provided pad folios to every senior student participating in the event. Some of the additional sponsors included: Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office, Granite State Development, Panther Education Trust, Rockland Trust, Blue Hills Bank, Eastern Insurance, Harbor One Bank, Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), Jack Conway Realtors, South Shore Organic Foods, McLaughlin Chevrolet Car dealership, Liberty Mutual insurance company, and the Kiwanis Club. The event included over 270 seniors, over 50 community volunteers and a Whitman-Hanson Credit for Life work team which included Whitman-Hanson Business teachers, and Whitman-Hanson School Counseling Department.
This event takes a lot of planning, preparing, and coordinating in the months leading up to the Credit for Life Fair. Overall, everyone benefitted from the Credit for Life fair it was a win-win for the community, students, and Whitman-Hanson faculty to hold this second annual event during Financial Literacy month.
About the Author
After graduating with an education degree and spending 7 years in an elementary classroom, Laura made the switch to the non-profit world and loves interacting with students, educators and business professionals across the country. She is passionate about all students having access to high quality education and views personal finance education as one way to ‘level the playing field’. When Laura is not locating or creating high quality educational resources, you can find her mountain biking or searching for the best ramen in town!
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