Paul E. Peelle: Teaching students about financial health

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Published: 12/13/2018 10:16:23 AM
Teaching students about financial health

Thank you for the editorial entitled “Smarten up and teach students financial literacy.” Even though I am retired from teaching at Easthampton High School, I have been promoting that the course “Personal Finance,” which we have offered for about a decade, become a requirement for graduation. I often pointed out that ninth-graders are required to complete a health class; I strongly support that such exposure to health issues is crucial. Similarly, I believe that students need financial competency before going out into “the real world” (including attending college).

We regularly updated the course at Easthampton High School. It covered all of the topics you listed as being included in the bill passed by our state Senate, plus a unit on transportation, including studying which form of transportation to use, buying or leasing a vehicle (investigating the actual cost of such private transportation), insurance on same, and safety awareness (such as braking distance). In addition, we had a unit on insurance (besides automobile), such as homeowner’s, renter’s, life and health.

One very effective activity which was not mentioned in your editorial is the Credit for Life Fair held every April in the gymnasium at Holyoke Community College. While not as impactful as a full course, it is an excellent event for the several area schools which send busloads of students for a morning of highly interactive booths staffed by volunteers from various businesses.

Paul E. Peelle
Amherst




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