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Illinois District Pushes Financial Literacy with 10-Unit Online Course

An Illinois school district has adopted free curriculum intended to teach its high school students financial literacy. Indian Prairie School District 204 has adopted EverFi's Web-based learning platform in a 12th grade consumer economics course.

The 10-unit course has six hours of programming aimed at teaching, assessing, and certifying students in financial topics that, according to the company, align with the state's consumer education curriculum. The application uses video, animations, 3D gaming, avatars, and social networking to educate students on complex financial concepts, including banking, savings and budgeting, mortgages, credit cards, financing higher education, stocks, 401(k) plans, credit scores, insurance, and taxes.

"It's exciting to see such an innovative approach to teaching financial literacy," said Superintendent Kathy Birkett. "Our students will be better equipped to manage their own personal finances as a result."

EverFi seeks sponsorships to make the course materials available free to schools. The Illinois initiative is being covered by the Rauner Family Foundation Financial Scholars Program and JPMorgan Chase is sponsoring the program in Chicago specifically.

"The lack of critical financial skills is leaving today's students unprepared to thrive in today's economic environment," said Bruce Rauner, founder of the Rauner Family Foundation. "While we need to continue to invest in positive change in our state education system, public-private partnerships like this are a critical way to move education forward without costing taxpayers or school districts a single dollar."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.