Home Finance Johnnie St. Vrain: Kids today learn plenty about personal finance

Johnnie St. Vrain: Kids today learn plenty about personal finance

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Lauren Rider teaches in an algebra class at Altona Middle School, 4600 Clover Basin Drive in August. Rider is head of Altona’s math department. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Dear Johnnie St. Vrain: Financial education is important. What do St. Vrain schools teach students about how to make, use and keep money?

Bob Askey

Dear Bob: I bet you aren’t prepared for the answer you’re about to get. Hint: it’s going to be a lot.

St. Vrain Valley School Schools integrate lessons about financial literacy beginning in kindergarten, according to spokeswoman Kerri McDermid. Beginning with the class of 2021, high school graduates will be required to earn 0.5 financial literacy credits (which equals one semester).

The district also works with local organizations, like Elevations Credit Union, to get experts into the classroom or for assistance in building curriculum, social studies coordinator Jenny Pettit said. Economic Literacy Colorado also helps train teachers on the subject.

“The curriculum is extremely hands-on,” Pettit wrote in an email. “Students are creating budgets, analyzing credit offers, evaluating debt and insurance options, participating in simulations, attending Young AmeriTowne events and more.”

That’s not the end of my answer, though. I got you more specifics, because I’m just that dedicated to the truth.

Here’s a bite-sized breakdown of what students learn at every level:

Kindergarten: These wee ones learn about the difference between wants and needs, and how money plays into that.

Elementary school: Kids learn about jobs, resources, skills, the development of Colorado’s economy and the market economy (among other things).


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Middle school: Here they learn about investing and financial decision-making, those exciting things called taxes, and debt and credit.

High school: Now older and wiser, these students learn about creating financial plans through a series of units explaining market economics and how to make, keep and use money.

Honestly, I’m a little jealous, and so is my adult bank account.

Do you have a question? Write Johnnie St. Vrain in care of the Times-Call, P.O. Box 299, Longmont, CO., 80502, or email johnnie@times-call.com.

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