SVVSD awarded $203,700 grant to promote personal financial literacy

Great West Financial awarded St. Vrain Valley Schools $203,700 as a two-year grant to support its efforts in teaching personal financial literacy. The financial literacy standards, integrated into social studies and math, focus on building financial knowledge from preschool through high school. The country’s recent financial crisis highlighted the need to increase public knowledge of personal finance. Schools are an important step.

Kahle Charles, executive director of curriculum for the district, sought this grant from Great West Financial as a way to provide teachers the needed support and instructional resources to fully implement the state financial literacy standards. Great West’s goal for the grant funds is to improve financial literacy in the school and community. If students are learning the information in school, the hope is that they will share that information with their families in the community.

“Studies show that if students are learning about personal financial literacy ... When they get older they are in less debt and are less likely to claim bankruptcy. It really does impact them long term.”

- Jennine Pettit, Social Studies Coordinator

With the grant funds, the district purchased flash drives containing thousands of financial literacy lessons to support teachers and interactive simulations to engage students in learning. The funds also supported the development of standards-based units and assessments for grades preschool through high school to be implemented in classrooms in December. For younger elementary students, book sets will be purchased to further support their understanding of financial literacy concepts.

This semester, the district is using grant funds to offer secondary social studies teachers paid training to prepare for teaching financial literacy concepts. Elementary training will begin in the spring semester.

“We hope the training will increase the personal knowledge of these concepts to help [them] feel comfortable with the content and have the resources for teaching it well.”

- Jennine Pettit, Social Studies Coordinator

In an effort to increase the sustainability of the these efforts in personal financial literacy, Pettit will be involved in a consortium of Colorado school districts that have also received the grant. These shared experiences will help the district successfully plan for the remainder of the grant funds. Pettit shared, “The district will continue a heavy emphasis on professional development, and expand parent and community outreach at the elementary level.”

For more information, contact Jennine Pettit, at pettit_jennine@svvsd.org or 303-702-7547.