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Virginia students, teachers find value in online financial literacy course

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August 5, 2011

Virginia high school students have responded favorably to a new online financial literacy course, according to a survey by the Genworth Foundation, the program’s sponsor, and program designer EverFi, Inc.

Last November, the Genworth Foundation, charitable arm of insurance holding company Genworth Financial, rolled out the EverFi six-hour online financial literacy course in more than 300 high schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of a three-year commitment to financial education.

The course, My Money, My Future, aligns with Virginia state standard and uses new media technology like 3D gaming, social networking, online animation video and messaging tools to make complex financial concepts accessible. More than 100 high schools were introduced to the course last fall and during the 2010-11 school year, more than 8,000 students from 84 Virginia High Schools were active on the program network, logging more than 34,000 hours on the site.

According to a survey of students that took the course, 82 percent of respondents that participated in all nine of the course modules rated them as “valuable” or “extremely valuable,” 70 percent said that financial education was “extremely important” for their financial future and 74 percent said all students should be required to take the My Money, My Future courses.

Forty-five percent of surveyed participants said they will have a conversation with their parents or an adult about personal finance after taking the course.

Of the teachers surveyed, 92 percent felt the course enhanced the material they were teaching and 96 percent would like the curriculum to be offered to future students of their high school.

"Freshmen at Lee High are excited each time they log in to the My Money, My Future program," said Wendy Enoch, a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton City, in a statement. "Using components such as games and avatars to capture the attention of teenagers in an area that sometimes bores them is genius. The lessons learned through this program will guide their financial decisions well into adulthood."

The 2009 mandate by the Virginia Board of Education for a course in economics and personal finance as a requirement of high school graduation begins fall 2011.

"Financial literacy empowers people to make informed and responsible choices and is a building block for a secure financial future," said Leon E. Roday, chairman of the Genworth Foundation board of directors, in a statement. "By adding private-sector expertise, resources and funds to the work being done by nonprofit organizations and community groups that specialize in financial education, we can significantly raise the quantity and quality of financial education in our schools."

My Money, My Future designer EverFi is based in Washington, D.C., and provides an education media platform to teach students financial literacy, student loan management and other life skills. 

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