Members ofThe Georgia Society of CPAs (GSCPA), wishing to raise awareness of financial literacy education amongst young people, recently coordinated the second annual statewide GSCPA Financial Literacy Day for eighth-grade students. The program, titled "Millennial Money," gave CPAs throughout the state an opportunity to teach local eighth-grade students the importance of financial education, and how budgeting and saving can impact both their personal and professional lives throughout their futures.
“As financial experts, CPAs are uniquely qualified to provide students with the education and tools they need to begin thinking about and making sound financial decisions as they grow into adulthood," stated GSCPA CEO Boyd Search.
Over the course of the one-day event, 113 GSCPA members visited middle school classrooms, wherein they taught basic financial literacy concepts, such as saving, investing, and budgeting to more than 6,200 eighth-graders. In its second year, the event's numbers doubled the number of schools reached and tripled the number of students compared to last year's event.
“It is important that we teach financial literacy early, when kids are receptive,” stated Lisa Conti-Bacon, accounting manager at Circa Lighting. “In eighth-grade, kids are open to ideas from adults and are old enough to understand the cause and effect of getting into debt.”
The curriculum included a presentation, as well as a poster for classrooms and take-home handouts for students to encourage further conversation between parents and students. Presenters noted the importance of budgeting and saving to generate conversations amongst families on real-world expenses, such as cellphones and cars.
“Financial literacy prior to high school allows kids to see a connection between their job opportunities and lifestyle,”
said Cindy Vickers, senior accountant at Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC, in a statement. ”Knowing budgeting and saving makes a difference and allows them to plan for college or a career throughout high school, instead of getting a big surprise at the end of 12th grade.”