School District of New Berlin (SDNB) has received the 2015 Governor’s Financial Literacy Award for its efforts in promoting financial literacy for its students. Nominated by State Representative Joe Sanfelippo, the District was one of 15 individuals, businesses and organizations honored during an awards ceremony hosted by the Governor and his Council on Financial Literacy at the State Capitol on February 10, 2016.
An important component within the District’s College and Career Readiness program, SDNB’s Financial Literacy Initiative provides opportunities that span from 5th through 12th grade.
“We believe exposing our students to financial literacy through a comprehensive initiative such as the one we developed with our partners, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Layton State Bank, is more effective in establishing a strong financial foundation than limiting that learning to a single course offering,” said Kelli Kwiatkowski, Director of Curriculum. “Between the resources our partners bring to the table, and the coursework expertly taught by our educators, we have developed a very robust program for our students.”
Pictured, from left: Tim Greinert, President, Junior Achievement of WI; Joe Garza, Superintendent, School District of New Berlin; Gary Szpara, Sr. Vice President, Layton State Bank; Carla Breunig, President, Layton State Bank; Kelli Kwiatkowski, Director of Curriculum, School District of New Berlin.
JA BizTown®, made possible through a grant from Kohl’s Cares Field Trip Grant Program, gives 5th graders a chance to combine classroom lessons with a visit to an interactive, simulated town. Students interview for “jobs” to perform while at BizTown. They participate in BizTown’s local economy by serving as workers, producers and consumers. This visit allows students to put into practice material learned through earlier classroom lessons which introduce topics such as writing a resume; applying for jobs; creating a business plan; goods and services; supply and demand; opportunity costs; and taxes.
Seventh graders in the district take a Careers & Communications course that helps students develop a financial vision based on an examination of personal values; analyze and discuss the long-range impact of setting personal financial goals; and understand how career choices, education skills, entrepreneurship and economic conditions affect income.
The Layton State Bank Financial Scholars Program, powered by EverFI, is offered to the District’s 9th graders. By progressing through a series of online modules, students leverage the information presented to demonstrate an understanding of key components of financial literacy including: saving; banking; credit score; and financing higher education, among others.
An elective Personal Finance course offered to 10th, 11th and 12th graders gives students the opportunity to see the value in developing personal and household budgets; simulate the use of checking and savings accounts; the importance of debt and credit management; and realize how insurance and taxes come into play in the personal finance equation
Finally, the JA Personal Finance® capstone program presented during Advisory for all 12th graders, is the culmination of the District’s comprehensive financial literacy initiative, with lessons relevant to students’ current reality as they prepare for their post-secondary futures. Topics include earning money; spending, saving and investing money; using credit cautiously and protecting one’s personal finances.
“A strong understanding of financial literacy is an integral part of the Vision of Our Graduate. Mastery of those skills supports our goal of preparing our students to effectively navigate both the worlds of higher education and employment as they transition to adulthood,” stated Superintendent, Joe Garza. “We simply could not have built this program as quickly as we did without the commitment of our staff and our community partners. We are honored to have been recognized by the Governor and his County of Financial Literacy for our efforts.”