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Yes, You Can Goes to School

Visit the Educators tab to download the Curriculum and learn more about our Immersion Camp.

We all know that kids who do well in school have a better chance of doing well - and becoming well off - in life. But just as important as learning how to earn money is learning what to do with it.

Up to now most schools have not prepared students to deal with money issues in the real world. So it's not surprising to see the disappointing results of a national survey sponsored by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. In the survey measuring 12th graders' knowledge of basic personal finance, most failed, receiving average scores of just over 50 percent.

Things are finally changing and Yes, You Can is on the leading edge of providing the necessary resources to help parents and teachers influence the behaviors of children and young adults so they can set a course to financial independence.

Download it now!
Aligned with the 8th grade Jump$tart National Standards for Personal Finance, the Yes, You Can Curriculum is appropriate for middle and high school students. The curriculum's goal is to help teachers challenge kids to:

  • Examine their personal financial behaviors;
  • Establish new and financially rewarding habits;
  • Learn about personal financial concepts;
  • Create the foundation for financial independence.

Module 1: Now and the Next Five Years
Students start a Personal Finance Portfolio notebook to organize their materials. They begin learning about setting financial goals, developing spending plans and deciphering what's on an itemized paycheck.

Module 2: First Steps to Financial Independence
Through Pay Yourself First®, kids learn about savings and interest, inflation, credit cards and debt, and how to evaluate advertising.

Module 3: The Next Big Thing
Students learn about stocks and other investments, how to determine net worth and calculate expenses, and how to live within their means.

Module 4: Our Great Idea
After brainstorming ideas about how to tackle community issues, students come to a consensus and develop an action plan to successfully complete a project. What they learn helps them discover the rewards of entrepreneurship.

It's FREE! All materials are available for download free. Just look under the Educators tab where, once you register, you'll find lessons with interactive components, plus projects, assessments, PowerPoint® presentations and Adult Dialogue Activities. Web-based calculators called FIT ("Financial Independence Today") tools include the Debt Reducer Calculator and Savings Goal Calculator. You'll also have access to our five-day financial education Immersion Camp curriculum.

While learning to handle money is serious business, the curriculum includes fun and games, too. The Whaddayaknow? Game Show lets teams answer questions on a game board, and the Yes, You Can BINGO game highlights financial vocabulary terms.

It Works!
How do we know the curriculum will be workable for educators and students? We started by designing materials that adhere to the accepted 3 C's of learning strategies: Constructive, Contextual and Collaborative learning.

Then we conducted a pilot in urban, suburban and rural middle schools and high schools to "test drive" the curriculum and get input from educators and parents.

It works! One of the pilot educators concluded: "I want to have the curriculum ready on day one. It's exactly what I've been looking for." A parent said the curriculum "helped begin the process of teaching my child about personal finance."

Many schools offering the new curriculum are sending parents a letter by mail or e-mail. If you haven't heard anything, contact your child's teacher to encourage use of the program.

"It is important that your children learn what they can do with money early in life so they will apply the lessons learned as they face the real world in future years," recommends Jim Stowers, founder, American Century Investments. Through the support of the company he founded, every child now has the opportunity to learn these life-enhancing lessons.

Teachable Moments

Parents, it's easy for you to participate in Yes, You Can learning activities with your child. "The curriculum includes Adult Dialogue activities for parents and other caring adults," explains Jill Grotzinger, a partner in Experience Design Innovation Group LLC (EDI), designers of the curriculum. "These are designed to build a bridge between the lessons taught at school and what children experience at home. It creates a safe environment to have serious conversations about money and what it means to be financially independent."

One Adult Dialogue activity, for example, suggests discussing whether people with high salaries are more likely to be financially independent. As you and your child discuss this topic, you can define what it means to be financially independent and brainstorm ideas on how earning, saving, investing wisely and spending all contribute to achieving financially independence.