Posts Tagged ‘high schools’

Pocket Entrepreneurs Benefit from Teenage Philanthropists | Edutopia

It’s great to see high school students involved in microfinance, and in turn learning lessons in finance, leadership and social entrepreneurship. Could this be used on a wider scale to help teach financial literacy to youth?

Pocket Entrepreneurs Benefit from Teenage Philanthropists | Edutopia

Reveca, a mother of four, struggles to support her family by selling flowers on the streets of her village in Peru. But thanks to a $325 loan from high school students in the United States, she recently expanded her small retail operation.

That’s right, high school students.

The budding bankers are trying their hand at microlending, a practice pioneered by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus to help the world’s poor. Microloans allow entre­­preneurs who lack the collateral needed for traditional financing to borrow small amounts — typically a few hundred dollars — to expand their enterprise.

American teens are beginning to see microlending as an opportunity to make a big difference through small loans. Justin Blau, a senior at Las Vegas’s private Meadows School, founded the Meadows School MicroBank, one of the first microlending initiatives based at a high school.

Under his leadership, students have raised $27,000 to invest in businesses in the developing world. Blau learned of microlending two years ago while doing research for a debate competition. “I realized that $50-$100 can transform a family’s life,” he says.

Around the same time, a program got under way at a public school in the Seattle area. Bellevue High School’s Microfinance Club has now made more than 1,100 loans in the Caribbean region. Its assets exceed $125,000, says founder Scott Bennett, a senior.

The schools’ microlending programs differ somewhat, but they share a purpose: to support developing economies while giving students a powerful experience with philanthropy. “It’s real money and real people we’re lending to,” says Blau. “That’s why we’re so motivated.”

-From Pocket Entrepreneurs Benefit from Teenage Philanthropists

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Cincinnati Public Schools to teach financial concepts in K-12

I have read several articles about schools mandating financial literacy curricula.  Here’s one from the Cincinnati Business Courier

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan introduced on Tuesday a plan to teach a financial education to CPS students from kindergarten through grade 12.

Ronan made the announcement at a news conference with Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor.

“Today’s economy has taught us how important it is graduate well-rounded students who know how to thrive amid financial challenges,” Ronan said in a news release.

The curriculum was developed by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center for Education & Research. The idea grew from the Accounting For Kids program, an annual workshop for fifth- and sixth-graders that teaches financial literacy concepts. Cincinnati Public Schools students also participate in the program.

In kindergarten, for example, children will participate in activities centered on the financial side of owning a pet. By third grade, each child will have a classroom “job” and spend school-based currency at a mobile incentive van. Fifth-graders will learn about microenterprises and eighth-graders will study the basics of investing.

On the high school level, UC’s Economics Center for Education & Research, with input from more than 60 volunteers from the business community, will redesign CPS’ economics courses to include personal finance lessons like budgeting and managing a checking account.

New Ohio graduation requirements mandate that high school students study personal finance, beginning with the 2009-10 academic year.

I’ll watch the progress of other schools to do the same!