Congratulations to Samantha Leput, who was the winner of our MakeCentsWv.org BLOG Contest. Samantha holds a Bachelor’s in Ag. Education, a Masters in Special Education, and I has a technology integration Specialist Certificate. Samantha is currently working on obtaining a Financial Literacy certificate through WVDE. She has been teaching for 5 years, this is her 4th year teaching at the Mineral County Alternative School, which has students in grades 5-12. Originally from Upshur County, she currently lives in Mineral County with her husband and son.
Money Makes The World go ‘Round.
How can you teach financial literacy to West Virginia students? To begin with you need to be able to relate money to the real world. You can teach anything to a student but for students to use and remember the information you have taught is a different matter. In my classroom and my school, I have implemented a simulated work place environment. The program I have created is used by every student and teacher in the school. Students have ID badges with their own unique QR code. This QR Code is linked to the TimeStation app, this app is an electronic time clock. Students are required to clock in and out of class anytime they leave the room. Students EARN minimum wage and receive a weekly paycheck. Paycheck amounts are based on each individual student’s performance throughout the week. Taxes, medical insurance, and internet fees are deducted from student earnings illustrating real-life financial literacy. Each student is issued a check register to keep track of their funds and record personal checks used to purchase items from our school store, The Whipple Company Store. Whipple contains a variety of items including: school supplies, personal hygiene items, gift cards, gifts for others, and other student-friendly items. The school held a fundraiser last year, selling Krispy Kreme Donuts to stock the school store.
Students are shocked by the amount of take home pay they are really earning. Students are realizing that they must be present, show up, and not take to many breaks to earn a good paycheck. Students are understanding how important it is to save their money. Occasionally, I throw into their paycheck a bill, I call this bill “that’s life” a few examples are: the washing machine broke down and you must pay the repair man $100, you got a traffic ticket for talking on your cell phone while driving $150. When a student receives one of these that’s life bills and they haven’t saved their money, and budgeted correctly, they then must make a choice if they are going to pay their bills or buy supplies for school. In the future, I would like to add monthly bills, such as utilities and rent.
I have also implemented Fin(e) Friday, (Financial Friday’s), each Friday for 90 minutes students are focusing on financial literacy concepts, right now the students are working using the foolproofme.com modules. I have also set in place as snow day homework packets for students to complete module’s using the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE)/ High School Financial Planning program www.HSFPP.org.
The goal is to prepare students for real life, and at my school I believe we are doing that.