Financial literacy

Wells Fargo grant boosts financial literacy in high schools

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A grant to the Sarasota County Educational Foundation from one of the nation’s largest financial institutions could mean a greater sense of financial literacy for local high school students.

Wells Fargo funded Financial Awareness Week events in April this year at four area high schools: North Port High, Riverview High, Sarasota High and Suncoast Polytechnical High. A month later, the funding also supported two “Dollars and Sense” workshops at Sarasota Military Academy.

Foundation leaders said it was all part of efforts to provide beyond the required academic curriculum and better prepare students for the future.

“Throughout our years of working to help students prepare for life, we have discovered the need for high school students to have an awareness of managing finances once they embark on next steps in life,” said Bianca Harris, program manager for the Education Foundation. “Financial literacy is just as important to us as supporting students in their education and career choices. Without this type of literacy, high school students are less likely to make wise financial decisions that can improve their quality of life.

Financial literacy events at public high schools across the county were held at the Educational Foundation’s Student Success Centers. A total of 223 students visited the events and answered daily questions, quizzes, interactive financial literacy games and budgeting sheets that tested their ability to earn, spend, save and budget .

College career counselors also talked with students about ways to save and accumulate money for college and for adult life in general after high school.

“More than 100 students have attended our financial literacy workshop because they now have the tools, resources, knowledge and confidence to make good financial decisions in life,” said Harris. “We look forward to providing more opportunities to help students learn more about their finances.”

Harris said the foundation has been providing financial literacy support to local schools for the past two years.

“We continue to expand with more banking/community partners who care about students’ financial literacy and understanding,” she said.

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