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Financial Literacy Becomes a Priority in Schools

TEWKSBURY — In recent years, there has been a concerning absence of financial literacy education in school curricula. Skills courses such as home economics, which used to be an integral part of students’ learning experience, have been phased out. However, recognizing the importance of financial knowledge, over 20 states have now taken steps to require personal finance courses for high school students, aiming to equip them with crucial money management skills.

Although the ways in which financial transactions are conducted have evolved from passbooks and checks to debit cards and digital transfers, the fundamental principles of earning, spending, and saving remain the same.

To address this gap in financial education, Tewksbury Federal Credit Union has partnered with elementary schools in Tewksbury to launch the Smart Savers Basic Banking program this fall. This initiative, led by financial education professional Gratia Gosselin, aims to raise awareness about the real-world need to understand money.

The program, designed in collaboration with Tewksbury elementary principals, focuses on teaching students the basics of saving, sharing, and spending money. Gosselin, a certified credit union financial counselor and personal finance educator, is enthusiastic about the opportunity to support financial education in Tewksbury schools.

Heath Brook principal Terry Gerrish expresses excitement about the program, emphasizing the importance of developing financial saving skills from a young age. Gerrish believes this knowledge will benefit students in various aspects of their lives, whether they are saving for a toy, a vacation, or their future college education.

In mid-September, parents will receive detailed information about the program, and their participation is entirely voluntary.

Gosselin emphasizes that even finding a penny in a pocket can be a valuable lesson for students to learn the importance of saving. Under the program, students will have the opportunity to make deposits twice a month and will receive receipts.

Furthermore, in addition to the elementary schools, Gosselin has also worked with the Wynn Middle School and TMHS to introduce financial concepts and budgeting skills to students. By teaching budgeting as a tool for managing income and expenses, Gosselin aims to help students develop a realistic understanding of their financial situation.

How Can the AI legalese decoder Help?

While offering financial literacy programs in schools is a crucial step towards equipping students with essential money management skills, understanding legal documents related to personal finance can still be challenging. That’s where the AI legalese decoder can assist.

The AI legalese decoder is an innovative tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyze and simplify legal language commonly found in financial documents, contracts, and agreements. By feeding complex legal texts into the AI legalese decoder, individuals can receive comprehensible and user-friendly explanations, making it easier to understand the terms and conditions of financial products and services.

For students participating in the Smart Savers Basic Banking program, the AI legalese decoder can be a valuable resource in deciphering the legal jargon often encountered when opening savings accounts or learning about financial products. It can empower students to make informed decisions and fully comprehend the implications of their financial choices.

Additionally, the AI legalese decoder can benefit parents by helping them navigate the complexities of financial documents they may encounter during their own financial journey. Understanding legally binding agreements and contracts becomes simpler and more accessible, ensuring that individuals can protect their interests and make informed financial decisions.

Overall, through the collaboration between Tewksbury Federal Credit Union, Gratia Gosselin, and the implementation of financial literacy programs, combined with the assistance of the AI legalese decoder, Tewksbury students and their families can enhance their financial knowledge and confidently navigate the world of personal finance.

The TFCU, with its six decades of experience, has grown from a credit union exclusively for municipal employees to a financial institution open to all Tewksbury residents, employees, town employee retirees, and relatives. Additionally, membership is available to anyone who makes a donation to the Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library, according to Gosselin.

Although Massachusetts has not yet mandated financial literacy courses, it has taken steps toward promoting personal finance education. In 2019, Governor Charlie Baker signed Chapter 438 (Senate Bill No. 2374), which requires the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish financial literacy standards. These standards aim to foster an understanding of personal finances, allowing schools to incorporate them into existing curricula such as mathematics, social sciences, technology, and business.

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