Note: My project to improve financial literacy started with a blog that I established here at FinanciallyCapable.org. Recently, I have expanded the vision and hired Jessica and Andrew who built out the 60+ personal finance lessons and 80+ activities that you can find on our website at www.nextgenpersonalfinance.org.
Early in life, my mom and dad taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic, saving, and having the discipline to delay gratification. My Dad had a holey, paint-splattered pair of 30-year old sneakers to prove this last point (given the odors emanating from the sneakers we all wished he would stop delaying that gratification and get a new pair!).
Several summers ago, I raised my hand and volunteered to teach a personal finance course at a local high school serving students seeking to be the first in their family to attend college. After I took the assignment, I realized I needed a curriculum. After spending hours reviewing dozens of websites (no shortage of sites or collections of links) and not being satisfied, I did what any entrepreneur would do. I created my own curriculum. I pulled disparate pieces together from the web — an informative video here, an engaging hands-on project there. Before I knew it, I had a 25 hour curriculum ready for my 9th grade classes.
My guiding principles in creating the curriculum: 1) Provide students with a decision-making framework to make sense of the complex, fast changing world of personal finance. 2) Don’t just tell them to “read the fine print” but show them how to analyze it, and “find the catch”. 3) Create engaging and current activities because students learn by doing.
Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit, has been a work in progress for the last several years. Our goal: to be a trusted source of supplementary materials that teachers can use to engage and develop financially capable students. While there is no shortage of financial literacy resources on the web, what is lacking is a site that curates the best that the Web has to offer. Using a combination of top teachers and Amazon-like reviews, NGPF is fast becoming that “go-to” resource.
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