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Valuable lessons: teaching kids about money and credit.

Indiana has the fifth-highest personal bankruptcy Personal bankruptcy is a procedure which, in certain jurisdictions, allows an individual to declare bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, bankruptcies are reserved for corporations.  rate in the nation. Overuse overuse Health care The common use of a particular intervention even when the benefits of the intervention don't justify the potential harm or cost–eg, prescribing antibiotics for a probable viral URI. Cf Misuse, Underuse. , abuse and plain old misunderstanding of credit all factor into this abysmal a·bys·mal  
1. Resembling an abyss in depth; unfathomable.

2. Very profound; limitless: abysmal misery.

3. Very bad: an abysmal performance.
 rating. A failing grade of 50 was the average score of school seniors on a national test of personal finance basics, yet 54 percent of college freshmen already have a credit card, jumping to 92 percent by sophomore year. To top it off, the U.S. has the lowest personal savings rate Savings rate

Personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income.
 of any major industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize  
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).


To reverse these trends, banks and schools are educating young people about money and credit, and new organizations have sprung up to develop publications, Web sites and programming to help them do it. Through grade school to high school, Indiana's young people will be getting bite-sized doses of learning to help them become financially literate.

Working with schools. Jim Marcuccilli, president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of STAR Financial Bank in Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, city (1990 pop. 173,072), seat of Allen co., NE Ind., where the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers join to form the Maumee River; inc. 1840. It is the second largest city in the state, a major railroad and shipping point, a wholesale and distribution hub, , says STAR works with Junior Achievement and through the Indiana Bankers Association programs to further financial literacy Financial literacy is the ability of individuals to make appropriate decisions in managing their personal finances. Raising levels of financial literacy is now a focus of government programmes in countries including[1] Australia, Japan, the United States and the UK.  Each of its banking centers is free to choose which of the IBA IBA
International Bar Association

IBA (in Britain) Independent Broadcasting Authority

IBA n abbr (Brit) (= Independent Broadcasting Authority
 programs it will become involved with. For example, the Greenfield center choose to make a $300 loan to a grade school class, which bought a retail item, sold it, paid back the loan and donated the profit to charity. "We just appreciate all the school corporations that allow us to become involved," he says. "Any time you can use your career to help educate young people, it's a good thing for the community'

At Centier Bank, with locations throughout northwest Indiana Northwest Indiana, also known as The Calumet Region, or just The Region, is comprised of Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, and Jasper counties in Indiana. This region neighbors Chicago, Illinois and Lake Michigan, and is also the Indiana component of the Chicago , president and CEO Michael Schrage has always been committed to supporting area schools, says Dian Reyome, community relations 1. The relationship between military and civilian communities.
2. Those public affairs programs that address issues of interest to the general public, business, academia, veterans, Service organizations, military-related associations, and other non-news media entities.
 coordinator, pointing to his scholarship programs with 18 of them. The commitment went even further, though, when she was hired in June 2004. "My position was created to help partner the bank with the schools. Children need to be taught to save at a very young age," she says. "There are so many credit and financial problems when you get older."

Making learning fun is the key, she says, and activities include money Bingo for third- and fourth-graders and a Jeopardy-style game for older kids. Presentations are made at all grade levels. In fact, one presentation has been made at a preschool, she says, and others in adult-education classes. The IBAs curriculum is used, and the bank also works with Junior Achievement programs.

"I'm hoping to reach 5,000 in the Teach Children to Save program in April," Reyome says, targeting third- and fourth-graders. Last year, the Indiana Teach Children to Save Day reached more than 18,000 children, with 421 volunteer bankers from 59 banks making presentations to schools and youth groups on the basics of money management. Although it's called a "Day'" because of a governor's proclamation, Reyome says the activities take place throughout the month, using games and activities to teach the concept of saving, how interest makes money grow, budgeting and distinguishing between needs and wants.

Networking with young people. New on the scene and ready to make its mark on improving kids' grasp of money matters is Indianapolis-based Networks Financial Institute, an initiative of Indiana State University's College of Business. NFI NFI Nasjonal Forskningsinformasjon (Norwegian Research Database)
NFI National Fisheries Institute
NFI National Fatherhood Initiative
NFI National Forest Inventory (Australia)
NFI Nutrition Foundation of India
 was established as a not-for-profit organization with a national scope in 2003, the result of a 520 million, four-year grant from Lilly Endowment Lilly Endowment Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the world's largest private philanthropic foundations and is among the ten largest such endowments in the United States.

The endowment was founded in 1937 by J. K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J. K. Jr.
. it has three main functions, says executive director Elizabeth Georgakopoulos: financial research; education, including providing scholarships to students in financial tracks; and outreach, including financial-literacy programs with schools.

"Indiana does not have a discrete set of financial-literacy standards," she says, admitting that adding more requirements onto an already chock-full curriculum would be difficult to accomplish. So NFI will identify a set of skills that students need, survey existing Indiana educational standards required in grades one to 12 containing financial-literacy concepts, and then work with teachers in math, economics, business education and other appropriate subjects to accomplish its goals within existing standards. In reviewing an existing math standard, for example, it was determined that the basics of getting an auto loan could easily be worked into the lesson. She's adamant, however, that "certain skills can only be taught by new standards and dedicated time in the classroom." That will be the long-term challenge.

Teachers like the idea of practical applications for learning, Georgakopoulos says. Last fall, nearly 250 of them attended Indiana's first Teachers Summit sponsored by the 10-year-old, D.C.-based Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, with NFI involved in the planning. K-12 teachers, school-system administrators and leaders from Indiana state government discussed the challenges of creating a financially literate population and shared best practices.

In January, NFI announced 11 mini-grants, totaling $5,300, awarded to teachers to pursue financial-literacy initiatives in middle schools and high schools. One such program is the Child Development II (parenting) class at Terre Haute South Vigo High School Terre Haute South Vigo High School is a high school located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Enrollment is at about 1,900 students. As the name implies, the school's district covers the southern portion of Terre Haute, as well as most of southern Vigo County, the county Terre Haute is in. , where students will learn about the financial burdens of teen pregnancy in its Baby-Think-It-Over Real Care II program.

NFI will roll out a pilot program of curriculum-based financial-literacy models at four to six private schools in Indianapolis this fall. "We'll map together with existing related standards," says Georgakopoulos. "We want to get in without being disruptive."

The goal of promoting financial literacy recently took another step forward with the formation of the Indiana Financial Literacy Coalition. An affiliation involving NFI, the Indiana Bankers Association, Junior Achievement, the Indiana CPA Society The Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) is a professional association representing the certified public accountant (CPA) profession in Indiana. Founded over 90 years ago (in 1915), INCPAS has over 8,000 members and serves as the professional home of CPAs, CPA candidates, accounting  and several other organizations, the coalition plans to work with schools, universities, business organizations, associations and the media to promote financial-literacy education. Among upcoming events is a Financial Fitness Fair April 30 at the Gene B. Glick Junior Achievement Education Center in Indianapolis.
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Comment:Valuable lessons: teaching kids about money and credit.
Author:McKimmie, Kathy
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Geographic Code:1U3IN
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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