Gorham Savings Bank Expands Financial Literacy Program for Maine High Schools
“Raise your hand if you want to become a financial expert over the next year?” Gorham Savings Bank CEO, Chris Emmons, asked Gorham High School Juniors and Seniors at an assembly kicking off the Gorham Savings Bank Financial Scholars Program.
The Gorham Savings Bank-sponsored financial literacy program allows Maine teachers to utilize an interactive curriculum in their classrooms at no cost to the school – bringing complex financial concepts to life with engaging videos and online modules. After successful pilot programs at Gorham and Bonny Eagle High Schools in 2015, Gorham Savings Bank expanded the program’s reach to include Kennebunk, Windham and Massabesic High Schools. Over 80 students registered and started lessons in 2016. Many more classrooms plan to integrate the literacy program in the coming spring.
The Gorham Savings Bank Financial Scholars Program uses real-world situations to teach high school students about finances – topics include budgeting, applying for financial aid, learning about credit scores, and how to evaluate whether to rent or buy a home. In Windham, 10th through 12th grade students are completing the modules throughout a year-long Business and Finance class.
According to recent survey data, 86% of parents talk to their kids about money but only 43% of parents describe themselves as ‘well prepared’ to teach their kids about money*. With Millennials’ knowledge gap becoming a popular topic, it’s apparent there is a need for financial education in a school setting, where all students have an equal opportunity to learn essential financial skills.
Financial education is not only an investment in our youth, but also a commitment to the future economic well-being of Maine. Gorham Savings Bank CEO Chris Emmons noted, “It’s crucial that the next generation gain an understanding of personal finance early on. Enhancing financial literacy is one of our core values and this course will provide students with the knowledge they need to become financially savvy graduates.”
*“Understanding Family Financial Capability: A Financial Education Survey of Parents and Kids”, Moyer, Meg, EverFi, 2016.