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 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- To help students understand the new payment methods in today's financial marketplace, Visa U.S.A. has expanded its award-winning educational program, "Choices & Decisions: Taking Charge of Your Life," to include information about debit cards, or as Visa refers to them, check cards.
 Visa has added "A Primer on Check Cards" to the Banking Services chapter of "Choices & Decisions." The supplementary section provides teachers with up-to-date information on this new payment option; describes how check cards can be used to pay for goods and services; and explains the difference between ATM and check cards, and the wise use of check cards. Check card-related questions for the software quiz appear in the multi-media segment of the module.
 The check card supplement will be included in all new "Choices & Decisions" curriculum kits and will be sent retroactively and without charge to the nearly 10,000 high schools throughout the nation which currently use the program to teach young people financial management skills. The new check card module is being introduced to coincide with the launch of a Visa-sponsored nationwide consumer education initiative.
 "Visa and its members have taken the responsibility and initiative to help tomorrow's generation of consumers learn to manage their finances wisely today," said Peter B. Gustafson, senior vice president of deposit access products for Visa International. "With nearly half of the nation's high schools implementing 'Choices & Decisions,' the education of young people will now consist of wisely using the newest financial tools at their disposal."
 An interactive multi-media educational program that teaches teenagers the financial facts of life, "Choices & Decisions" was developed by Visa in conjunction with National Consumers League, the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs and representatives of the educational and financial communities. The curriculum module was created for Visa by LucasArts Entertainment Co.
 The program is available free to high schools in the United States, donated by Visa member financial institutions in the locale of the secondary institution. Nearly 600 Visa members have participated in the program by donating kits.
 "Choices & Decisions" is an example of the increasingly useful technology-based programs being introduced in schools nationwide to help teachers better educate students. The learning module includes a 12-chapter lesson plan featuring a comprehensive Teacher's Guide, personal computer software for the Macintosh or IBM/PC or compatible hardware and a laserdisc. The program covers a variety of topics including: Making Decisions, Making Money, Banking Services, Consumer Awareness, the Art of Budgeting, the Influence of Advertising, Credit Cards, Saving and Investing, and Living on Your Own.
 Through "Choices & Decisions," students make a series of personal and financial decisions to help on-screen characters, played by real-life actors Alfonso Ribeiro of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Tracy Gold of Growing Pains, achieve a series of personal and financial goals. In short, students act as financial advisors to the on-screen characters. Their decisions determine if Alfonso's character "Michael" can rent his own apartment and buy a car, or if Tracy's character "Lisa" can earn and save money to attend college. Learning real-life decision making in the safety of a classroom setting, students discover that their decisions have consequences and that life has surprises and setbacks (such as when "Michael's" car needs some costly repairs), as well as opportunities.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment card system in the world with more than 10.5 million acceptance locations and 309 million cards issued worldwide, including 152 million in the United States.
 -0- 9/21/93
 /CONTACT: Stephanie Caracristi of Visa, 415-432-3372/

CO: Visa U.S.A. ST: California IN: SU:

LH -- SF010 -- 4143 09/21/93 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1993

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