April was National Financial Literacy Month, and our TAF Academy middle school students were fortunate to have representatives from Bank of America pop into their morning advisory class to provide tips on achieving financial and personal goals.
Students were presented with two scenarios, both financial and personal. They were asked how much money they planned to save within the next 5 years, and how they planned to make their goals come to fruition. Their plans would include the calculation of interest accrued on their savings and thinking critically about how feasible their savings goal was based on current resources, and how they planned to earn money in the first place.
Being that the students ranged from 6th to 8th grade, many of them noted that they received an allowance from their parents and could simply save what was earned, instead of spending their money on frivolous items.
Michael, one the Bank of America workshop leaders made students start on a plan. “Starting today, let’s give you a goal. Who’s going to do things during the summer to earn money? If we take now until September of next [school] year when you come back to school, think of a plan that you’re going to continue to do until next year and what you can save.”
Other students expressed how they didn’t have any money or a job and wondered how they could produce income. Michael helped students think through these challenges and offered additional ways students could think about starting to save.
“What if you have an older lady that lives next door and she needs help pulling the weeds in her yard? Maybe you can offer her to do some yard work?”
He also mentioned how much money students would save by opting for a cheaper pair of shoes, rather than splurging their school clothes budget on high-end shoes like Jordans.
The suggestions were practical, and students really started to think about the ways they could do their part to reach their savings goals.
The workshops got increasingly interesting when students were asked about their personal goals and how they planned to reach them. One student, 6th grade Logan said, “I’d like to travel at least six of the seven continents.” The adults in the room considered this to be high-reaching, but when asked how he would make this possible, Logan had it all planned out. “I plan to work full or part-time jobs or jobs that involve traveling like PR,” he says. It was practical, and everyone was impressed.
After the five simultaneous financial literacy workshops came to an end, the Bank of America worksop leaders met with TAF Academy Program Manager Sarah Wilkes for a quick debrief.
“This was a really good introduction,” Wilkes said expressing her desire for the team to come back and collaborate with the math teachers to continue the work.
Esther, the Bank of America coordinating organizer of the day’s workshop was really excited. “We’re doing a financial coaching training, and we’d like to identify a few [students] in TAF to participate at the end of May.”
“What I like about your lesson plan is that it’s really tangible. We already do a lot of CCR (college and career readiness), but this type of thing really helps [the students] think about their future.
Before the Bank of America team left TAF Academy’s campus, they were presented with gift bags and took a picture near the school’s entry sign as many others have done before. We’re grateful for their time and looking forward to working with them more in the future.