Financial literacy education is a key area of focus for Centra Foundation. We provide two programs for teachers to use with their students. Saving with Mandy and Randy is designed for second grade students, Making the Right Money Moves is used at area high schools generally as part of the personal finance curriculum.
Centra Foundation expanded the impact of its school based financial literacy program by 44% during the last two school years. During the 2015-2016 school year more than 2,400 students benefitted from the two programs.
Saving with Mandy and Randy
The Saving with Mandy and Randy program is used in eleven Bartholomew County schools as well as eleven other elementary schools in Centra communities. The program provides a series of practical, interactive lessons. Each student receives his/her own book. Learning opportunities include; identifying coins and their value, understanding the difference between wants and needs and the importance of saving.
Carmella Musillami from L. Frances Smith Elementary School shared, “I've been taking advantage of the Mandy and Randy program for numerous years. I appreciate the materials and wish to continue using them for as long as Centra Foundation can provide them. The best part of Mandy and Randy is the story...how they opened a bank account and started saving."
Making the Right Money Moves
Eighteen high schools utilized the program last year. High Schools joining the program included Jeffersonville, Floyd Central and Scottsburg. The program combines a workbook, practice worksheets, role play simulations, CD and video to teach practical lessons.
Brian Campbell business teacher at Columbus North said about the program, "I really like using the books as they allow us to incorporate them into a variety of areas. I use the checking account chapter when discussing the importance of keeping a budget. The section really makes the kids focus on knowing where there money goes. The credit section gives students a really solid foundation (terms, credit scores values, general background) that they can use. The Now You’re The Lender chapter allows students to apply all they have learned in what to look for in making a lending decision (what's good vs what's bad)."
Students also like the program, “Katlin Meek – Columbus North Senior told us, “The financial management skills I gained through the Making the Right Money Moves program are benefitting me now and will through my adult life.”
The program is used at Open Door Youth Services in New Albany. The organization provides a number of supportive services for at risk youth. Krystal Craig, Independent Living Coordinator recently shared:
In our Independent Living Program, teens ages 16-up they are learning all kinds of life skills to help prepare them for independent adulthood. Of course a huge part of that is financial responsibility and literacy. Many of the teens in our program get part-time or summer jobs for the first time, we have been using the Making the right money moves to teach them about financial basics. Our kids are choosing to set goals of opening their first bank accounts and beginnings savings accounts. They are also budgeting their expendable income between wants and needs, example they may want the latest iphone but really just need a regular phone. We are also teaching the difference between debit and credit cards, and the financial future that can be made or broken by credit card use. We have been seeing our residents make smarter decisions when it comes to expendable income, making saving a priority, and setting financial goals.
During the 2016-2017 school year we will be contacting other schools and teachers in the Centra communities to see if they have an interest in using the program.