The Kids Beat

Making Cents

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Vermont middle and high school teachers are invited to apply for the Teacher's Financial Literacy Summer Institute at Champlain College. Half of the 40 spots available are reserved for Vermonters. Designed to give educators the confidence, skills and curriculum tools they need to teach personal finance, the course will cover saving and investing, credit reports, credit and debt, managing risk and other topics considered necessary to navigate daily life. The five-day course runs from June 25 to June 29. It offers three graduate credits, and — thanks to financial support from nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance and a local, anonymous donor — tuition is free. Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy created the course — one of just a handful in the country — and plans to offer it through 2020. A pilot program ran from 2011 to 2013 and was noted in a White House report on financial empowerment. John Pelletier, director of the center, said that other than taking out a mortgage, paying for college is the biggest financial decision a person makes. Average student debt is between $28,000 and $30,000, he said, and people take it on when they are 18. "And what preparation do we give them? None." Together, the 130 teachers who completed the pilot program are expected to teach 38,000 students over 10 years.

Learn more at champlain.edu/centers-of-excellence/center-for-financial-literacy. The program is open to teachers from Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. Applications are due by May 11.

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