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Cabot & Junior Achievement: Teaching Financial Literacy

shale gas news - desRosiers_headshotBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas

 

Cabot & Junior Achievement have partnered to teach school age students important life skills, such as financial literacy and career readiness.

Last year Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation pledged to support 1,000 new students through Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s financial literacy and career readiness programming. JA of NEPA has been a vital partner of Cabot’s over the last few years, helping facilitate energy-based curriculum, Opportunities in Energy, in multiple regional high schools.

From the experience of working together on energy curriculum, it became apparent that concepts of financial literacy (budgets, payment options, making choices, etc.) & career readiness (resume building, interview preparation, etc.) went hand-in-hand with the Opportunities in Energy curriculum. While the intention was to start this programming at the beginning of the academic year, the budget stalemate in Harrisburg postponed everything until January.

finacial literacyKickstarting the program

The first school chosen to participate was Elk Lake High School and the Junior Achievement curriculum picked was Economics for Success. This program lays bare for students the heart of a successful economic life: choosing the right career and managing money properly. Following participation in the program, students will be able to explore their skills, interests, values, and the world of work to make informed education, career, and life decisions. The program also will expand their knowledge of personal finance – including smart budgeting, wise credit use, and minimizing financial risk – so they can apply strong financial management skills regardless of their income.

The lesson breakdown of Economics for Success is as follows:

Activity One: Mirror, Mirror

  • Students make choices to understand better the concept of self-knowledge—the awareness of their skills, interests, and values—as they consider education, careers, and other life choices.

Activity Two: Be a Success

  • Students learn how to set goals for their financial future. They play the Be a Success Game to see the connection between personal finance, education, and careers.

Activity Three: Keeping Your Balance

  • Students receive Occupation Cards and observe how different jobs provide different monthly salaries. Based on those monthly salaries, students evaluate the opportunity costs when making budget decisions.

Activity Four: Savvy Shopper

  • Students examine how consumers pay for goods and services. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using debit and credit cards.

Activity Five: Keeping Score

  • Students examine how a credit score is determined and learn about the positive and negative consequences of a credit report.

Activity Six: What’s the Risk?

  • Students demonstrate that life involves risk and that insurance helps to reduce the financial consequences of loss or injury.

One of the unique aspects of Junior Achievement programming is focused on professionals from an industry volunteering to deliver the programming in the classroom over multiple sessions. Not only does this allow the class to build a relationship with the volunteering professional, but it also allows the professional to connect personal life lessons and career examples to the education.

financial literacy

Karen Hubbard of Allied-Horizontal Wireline, a graduate of Elk Lake High school, joined staff from Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania and me to teach 100 8th graders. I think I speak for all of the volunteers that the experience was enlightening and well worth it.

If you’re interested in volunteering to teach JA programming throughout Northeast Pennsylvania, please contact Mellissa Turlip, President, Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania. You can also attend an upcoming Train the Trainer sessions too. The next one will be hosted by the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce. Here are the details:

Junior Achievement’s Economics for Success

Train the Trainer/ Volunteer Training
Wednesday, February 17th
Noon – 1 pm at the Hampton Inn Tunkhannock
Space is limited
Register online or email debbie@wyccc.com

Agenda

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Overview of Junior Achievement of NEPA
  • Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
  • JA Economics for Success Program Review
  • Q & A

About Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Our programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.

JA’s unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver our curriculum while sharing their experiences with students. Embodying the heart of JA, our classroom volunteers transform the key concepts of our lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world.

Reposted with permission from Well Said Cabot.

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