Teachers, bankers and other community leaders met at the East Baton Rouge Parish School District Development Center in Baton Rouge on Sept. 12 for the 2012 Financial Education Boot Camp.
Sponsored by the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, the event featured a range of speakers that included national, regional and local finance experts who discussed money management for youth.
The boot camp is designed to provide teachers with resources, tools and information they can use with their students to help them to build their financial capabilities, according to LSU AgCenter youth financial literacy specialist Jeanette Tucker, who is vice president of the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition and organizer of the event.
“We’ve packed a lot of information into this one-day meeting to ensure that as many teachers as possible could come and fill their toolkits with proven research-based information and resources,” Tucker said. “The information that they will take back with them will help their students to be responsible financial managers in their current and future life.”
Tucker said a second day of the boot camp had been planned for Alexandria but was postponed due to scheduling problems caused by Hurricane Isaac. It will be rescheduled later.
Tangela Womack, a teacher in the business education department at Northeast High School in Pride, La., said she attended the meeting to gain some financial literacy knowledge to use in her Journeys to Careers courses for high school students.
“The information we’re learning here will make it easier to show the students what to expect after high school,” Womack said. “My course is required for graduation, so this is very helpful for me to help them prepare.”
Womack said she had one student who indicated that he wanted to be a doctor but didn’t want to go to school. “So my class is very helpful in showing them how the real world works,” she said.
Layne McDaniel, president of the Credit Bureau of the Baton Rouge Foundation, and treasurer of the Baton Rouge Jump$tart Coalition and one of the keynote speakers, said this is a great format to get the information to teachers who will take it to their students.
“With today’s college students having more and more credit card debt and then student loan debt, I believe we have to get to them earlier with this information” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said financial information has to be introduced at every level of education.
“We wouldn’t think of having a kid go down and take his driver’s test without some preparation,” McDaniel said.
Lisha Landry, Louisiana assistant attorney general in the consumer protection section, explained how her agency has been involved with the Jump$tart Coalition for the past eight years.
“We are committed to consumer protection and the best way to be an informed consumer is to understand your rights as a consumer and to be financially savvy,” Landry said. “This all starts in middle and high school.”
Tucker introduced the new LSU AgCenter Living Your Financial Experience (LYFE) program that will soon be offered to high school students around the state.
“LYFE is collaboration between the AgCenter and the Louisiana Federal Credit Union. It is a two-phase program that involves seven lesson plans geared to middle and high school students.” Tucker said.
Also on the program, teachers and students from the Acadiana High School’s Academy of Business and Finance in Lafayette explained how their hands-on experiences had taught them about how the world of finance works.
Melissa Gossen, a high school student in the program, was able to turn her summer internship into a part-time job at a credit union, where she is gaining even more finance experience. Johnny Morgan
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