Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Financial Literacy for First Graders

By Katie Ash — March 10, 2008 1 min read

We hear a lot about hands-on lessons in science and technology, but it’s not often that we hear about those kinds of experiences in other subjects. This AP story is about a financial-literacy program in a public elementary school in Chicago that gives $20,000 to each 1st grade class to invest in stocks. The kids get to choose and manage the stocks, and in the process learn financial literacy skills such as how to open a bank account, save money, and invest. Here’s a little more about how the program works:

Experts manage a $20,000 portfolio for each class until sixth grade, briefing them regularly along the way, and then begin turning over the decisions to the children. Upon graduation from eighth grade, each class returns the initial investment amount to the school for another first-grade class and donates, invests or pockets the profits. After giving half the gains to community charity programs or school initiatives, each student can then take the rest in cash or invest it in a Section 529 college savings plan, in which case they are given an additional $1,000. Last year, 80 percent of graduates invested their $150 shares in a 529."

Like the founder of the school notes, in an age when the traditional corporate pension is becoming obsolete, it’s increasingly important for students to be taught financial literacy in school. And giving students this kind of hands-on approach to investing really helps keep them engaged and motivated.

I have to say, as someone who plans to sit down with her parents in order to learn how to file taxes in a few weeks, I would definitely have benefited from a program like this. Fortunately, both my parents are knowledgeable about financial matters, otherwise I’m not sure where I would learn these skills. I certainly wasn’t taught financial literacy in school--not in elementary, middle, or high school, and not in college, either. Starting these kids so young could have a huge influence on how they manage their finances in the future.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.

Events

Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Student Well-Being Online Summit Keeping Students and Teachers Motivated and Engaged
Join experts to learn how to address teacher morale, identify students with low engagement, and share what is working in remote learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates
Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read