In the Classroom: Freedom Financial Network Hosts Personal Finance Day at Gateway Elementary School

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Tempe business partners with Junior Achievement for Feb. 6 Financial Literacy Day

TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 4, 2020 – Years before they get their first real jobs or checking accounts, the students at Gateway Elementary School will learn basic financial concepts and how to handle money, with help from Freedom Financial Network (FFN).  

On Thursday, Feb. 6, 60 employees from the Tempe financial services company will teach more than 700 kindergarteners through eighth-graders at Gateway, located at 1100 N. 35th St. in Phoenix. FFN is partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) of Arizona to bring JA’s financial education program to Gateway Elementary. JA’s program works to develop financial literacy, with the goal to change students’ lives by helping them understand business and economics at age-appropriate levels, according to Sandra Villarreal, education manager at JA of Phoenix.

Lessons are activity-based, and include games, visuals and physical activities in the classroom. Students will learn and apply personal finance concepts and tools that range from counting money to understanding demands of the job market and entrepreneurial thinking.

FFN instructors will teach all 25 classrooms at Gateway Elementary five or six graduated lessons throughout the day. Beginning with learning what money is and how it works, and advancing to the importance of saving and giving, and eventually global economics basics, the employees – trained as instructors by JA – will help students understand how to apply money management skills to their personal and business lives. By the end of the day, even third-graders will be creating a business plan to open a local restaurant.

“We conduct personal finance days at elementary schools in the Phoenix area a few times each year as part of our commitment to helping people – at every point in their lives – improve their financial health and wellness,” says Michael Micheletti, director of corporate communications for FFN. “We focus our efforts on schools whose students come from lower-income families, as we believe it’s especially important for these kids to start learning these critical skills early on. In sharing aligned goals with JA, Freedom Financial Network can make a real difference.”

Last year, financial literacy education in Arizona received a boost when Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1184 into law, making personal finance a requirement for high school students. The bill requires that at least half a credit in an economics class be devoted to financial literacy and personal financial management.

 

Junior Achievement of Arizona (www.jaaz.org)

Junior Achievement of Arizona is a member of Junior Achievement USA, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs and rural areas through 107 area offices in all 50 states. Junior Achievement of Arizona’s programs reach more than 80,000 primarily low-income students in nearly 400 schools across the state each year.