Financial Literacy Day in SC takes a look at reality, brings leaders' support
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Columbia, SC--Approximately fifty Midlands high school students joined SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis, SC Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and credit union supporters from across the state in celebrating Financial Literacy Day on Tuesday, April 12 at the State House following a morning life simulation.
The River Bluff High School students began the day at 9:00 am with "Reality of Money" at the Greater Columbia Convention Center. In the hour-plus financial education simulation, each student received a profile indicating education and employment, then visited more than ten stations where credit union volunteers offered life choices such as housing, groceries, transportation, communications, and healthcare. Roaming volunteers occasionally halted students to draw from a set of "Stuff Happens" cards denoting positive and negative circumstances. With completed activity sheets, students gathered in small groups to discuss their experience and outlook.
"Experiential learning has been shown to be a powerful tool in helping people better manage their finances," said CCUL Director of Cooperative Initiatives Jeff Hardin. "For such a brief exercise, the Reality of Money can make a difference as students prepare to make key decisions that will impact their financial lives in the decades to come."
Potential outcomes of the Reality of Money include learning:
- The value of "living below your means”;
- The value of maintaining a good credit score;
- That education can be a key driver of financial success;
- That budgeting helps build financial success; and
- That life choices matter.
After "Reality of Money," the students and credit union staff moved uphill just before noon to flank public officials on the State House South Steps, where Loftis and Spearman reinforced the exercise with their own perspectives.
"Money management can be the difference between a difficult life and the life of your dreams," Loftis shared with the crowd. "Take the time and learn how to manage your money and if you do so you will be well on your way to a wonderful life."
Success in education incorporates financial concepts for well-prepared graduates, Spearman added.
"Our vision is for every South Carolina high school graduate to be prepared for success after high school and to be productive citizens," she said. "Being able to properly manage money, to save, and spend wisely is a key part to success in life."
Tuesday marked the second annual "Financial Literacy Day" hosted by South Carolina credit unions, and response to their efforts for young citizens assured more in years to come.
"Credit unions are a valuable part of our financial system, operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to members," Loftis recognized. "I can assure you that the credit unions of South Carolina fulfill that purpose well."