Extra Credit: Finance Class

By Kym Clark - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A few weeks ago, NBC News spotlighted a program in Memphis City Schools that teaches 1st graders financial literacy. We revisited Kim Britt's Richland Elementary 1st grade class to see the Smart Tennessee Program at work for ourselves.

Britt and all of her students already knew quite a bit about money.

"They all get money for allowances or for the tooth fairy or for taking out the trash -- doing chores," she said.

And she's helped them learn about making money on their own - talking about the word "entrepreneur" and it's meaning.

It is now a requirement in the state that every Tennessee student take at least one financial literacy class before they can graduate. Richland is not waiting for high school, and Britt says her young students have surprised her with how much they understand about using money, managing money and saving money.

As Britt says, "These are our future home buyers, our future car buyers. And, having the knowledge from such a young age on how they manage their money and the decisions they make on what they need to buy."

Britt hopes her 1st graders will carry their lessons on financial literacy through their teen and adult years, helping them make sound financial decisions throughout their lives.

Incidentally, Tennessee is one of only 13 states requiring personal finance courses for graduation. Within the past 4 years, 70,000 of the state's students in grades 1-through-8 have participated in the Smart Tennessee Program.

If you have an Extra Credit idea, please send Kym Clark an email to: extracredit@wmctv.com.

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