By Leeann Akers - Managing Editor
Oct. 24, 2012 — Fiscal responsibility, economics, inflation and preventive risk are not words that fifth graders usually use, but thats not the case in Carter County.
Last week, students in all six elementary schools began working on a computer program called Vault, which teaches money skills that will be applicable throughout the life of these students.
The schools were gifted the program through a matching grant with Commercial Bank and the Calipari Foundation.
The Journal-Times visited a group of students at Prichard Elementary as they were introduced to the program. Within minutes, they knew more about money than the average adult.
“The Calipari Foundation announced last fall that they would match whatever banks did in the community,” Mark Strother, Commercial Bank Executive Vice President said. “We were really excited to have the opportunity to help kids learn about fiscal responsibility in a fun way.”
Vault has modules set up in six categories: responsible money choices, income and carers, making plans with money, and credit and borrowing, insurance and safety, and savings and investing.
“It is very important to know about your personal information because you don't want to give that out to anyone,” fifth grader Jonathan Horton said. “Some ask you questions and some explain things. Others try to make you laugh so you understand better. I really like how they have the vocabulary words all in one place at the end, so you can review what you've learned.”
“I learned on here that it is good to spend a little bit and save a little bit. It said that you cant hold in all your money because you would get eager and want to buy more,” fifth grader Alexis Jarvis said. “It teaches about good and bad decisions with money, and I think its really cool how everything is so neat to look at.”
Vault is a six to eight week program where the kids can work at their own pace. Each module is 35 minutes.
“We are required to meet so many different standards, and economics meets social studies, practical living and vocational studies, and most importantly it meets the needs of this age group,” Prichard Principal Jason McGlone said. “It's never too young for kids to start learning about financial issues that they will face all their life. The more educated they are about how the world works financially, the better off they will be in the future.”
Vault is an educational and image rich program that allows students to actively engage in their learning.
Leeann Akers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.