State Treasurer Lynn Fitch kicked off her TEAM financial literacy initiative, the Treasurer’s Education About Money, statewide this week. Treasurer Fitch spoke to students at Harrison Central, Hattiesburg, Clinton, Forest Hill, Madison Central, Yazoo City, Desoto Central and Holly Springs High Schools about the importance of learning personal finance skills as key to changing Mississippi’s financial culture. “You are our workforce and leaders of tomorrow,” Fitch told them. “If you learn how to manage your own money, you will be better able to manage the finances of the businesses you lead.”
Fitch is traveling Mississippi this week to share the details of her TEAM initiative to make personal finance education resources available to every high school student across the state. She also met with a number of business groups enlisting their help in supporting and promoting adoption of the resource in our schools.
TEAM is built on a public-private partnership that includes local communities, businesses, nonprofits, and educators all aimed at improving Mississippi’s financial literacy.
“Mississippi has been named as among the least financially capable states in the country,” Treasurer Fitch said. “This is unacceptable. I want to change our financial culture, and TEAM is a significant step in that effort.”
With funds raised from the private sector, Treasurer Fitch’s TEAM initiative will make available a computer-based program for students to learn the basics of managing their money.
Designed by EverFi, a company with a proven track record of implementing the financial literacy program in schools across the country, the program is available online so that students can easily complete the nine different modules in classrooms, computer labs or in their homes. Schools have flexibility to use the EverFi program in many different subject areas, and students are tested throughout the program to measure their progress.
The modules include lessons on credit scores, insurance, credit cards, taxes, investing, 401Ks, savings, mortgages and college savings. Angela Moore, an economics teacher at Desoto Central High School in Southaven has found the program easy to incorporate into her lesson plan. “I love that the program has a ‘teacher tracker’ that allows me to follow their progress and give more help if it is needed,” said Mrs. Moore.
TEAM will also enlist the Mississippi Council for Economics Education, a Mississippi nonprofit that already successfully provides training for teachers in the areas of economics, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. MCEE will expand its current teacher training in personal finance they already provide to include the EverFi program.
“The EverFi program has already been piloted in 100 schools around the state,” said Treasurer Fitch. “Students who completed the lessons showed a 40% increase in financial literacy. With MCEE’s effectiveness in training teachers, we can really raise awareness that personal finance education is a life skill we all need.”
For information on TEAM, please contact TEAM@treasury.ms.gov or call 601-359-3600.
TEAM Information Flyer