CAP is in the early stages of developing a comprehensive education program for youth, including high-schoolers, to help guide them down the path to financial literacy. It is important that, by the time youth leave high school, they have adequate financial knowledge and are credit savvy.
Galen Amy, CAP’s Development Director, says, “We want to catch [graduating students] before they get on campus where credit card companies set up tables to woo them, and to inform them of the implications [of having a credit card].”
The organization currently offers financial education for children 9-13 as part of its Free to Choo$e financial course for adults. The instruction for 9-13 year-olds is based on the Biz Kid$ program. CAP is considering Biz Kid$ as a way to teach high-schoolers.
Biz Kid$ is a PBS show—with supplemental classroom materials and learning activities— that teaches youth about money and business using teenage presenters and the examples of young entrepreneurs. Amy says that the multimedia format and age of the cast make it engaging for teenagers: “Kids won’t be bored by it. It’s not just book work and lectures—and presenters are teens.”
According to Amy, while Biz Kid$ covers a lot of relevant materials for high-schoolers, any program that CAP ends up using would need to work on covering basics. “We’re focusing on building basic skills, like what is a debit card, how to balance a checkbook,” she says. “It’s pretty amazing what communities are lacking” in terms of teenagers’ financial knowledge.
For more information on Community Action Partnership, please visit http://www.nmhr-dist10.org/.