What if you could have attended Money School as you were preparing to graduate from high school? Could it have made a difference in your financial life?
Beginning in March, high school juniors and seniors and their parents will have the chance to improve their financial literacy by attending Money School at county high schools.
The seminars are offered through a $99,922 Smart investing@yourlibrary® grant awarded to the York County Library System.
Created as a fun and informational half-day workshop, this free program will help high school students put in place the financial literacy skills they’ll need for post-high school success.
According to Karla Heberlig, director of development for the Martin Library Association, Money School applies to all teens whether they are going straight into the workforce, the military, to trade school or college.
“When we surveyed high school guidance counselors, they consistently identified financial information as a need for their students, so we knew we were on the right track in creating this program,” she added.
South Western High School Assistant Principal Chris Bowman said more students are taking on financial responsibilities such as car payments and car insurance at a younger age, and when they go to college, credit card companies are there at orientation ready to sign students up.
“We see the Money School program as a great connect to the personal finance overview we teach in our business curriculum. Any time we can work with an outside organization to educate our students and parents, and echo the information our students are learning, we welcome and appreciate the opportunity,” he said.
Workshop instructors will teach the basics of managing checking and savings accounts, using debit and credit cards, how to create a financial plan, budget and goals, and introduce students to the importance of a credit history.
“The program also equips parents with the financial literacy tools they need to help guide their teenagers’ financial planning,” Heberlig said.
The grant runs for 18 months, during which workshops will be held at each of the public York County high schools. Students and parents can attend any of the school locations to participate before graduation.
Registration has begun online at www.yorklibraries.org for the first two programs scheduled at York Suburban High School in March and South Western High School in April.
And there are prizes. Heberlig said that at every Money School workshop, a brand new Netbook will be given away to one of the juniors or seniors in attendance. Plus, there will be incentives to use the library.
Students can earn up to three prizes for visiting their local library. On the first visit, they receive a free DVD rental; on the second, a flash drive; and on the third visit, they are entered to win one of 13 eReaders.
This year’s grant for the program is one of only 16 awarded nationwide by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation in partnership with the American Library Association.
“This comes on the heels of a successful facilitation of a grant half this size two years ago that reached over 1,500 children and family members at our 13 York County Libraries and the Southwestern School District,” Heberlig said.
That grant provided funding for the Right on the Money program, which educated children ages 5 to 7 about money basics such as earning, saving, spending and borrowing through the use of storybooks, and empowered parents to talk to their kids about money.
The program is being offered again for students at four elementary schools in the School District of the City of York and at the York Academy Regional Charter School.
If you go
Money School workshops will be held at:
York Suburban High School, 1800 Hollywood Drive, York Township, 9: 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 31, in the cafeteria.
South Western High School, 200 Bowman Road, Hanover, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 28, in the cafeteria.
Workshops are free to all York County high school juniors, seniors and their parents. Continental breakfast will be served.
Registration is required. Register now at www.yorklibraries.org. For details, email Karla Heberlig at kheberlig@york libraries.org or call 717-849-6967.
Deborah Sullivan is community relations director for the York County Library System.