Our Role in Educating and Energizing Young People About Money
It’s a lesson everyone needs to learn: how to manage money. It’s so basic and yet it’s so essential. Especially for young people.
Financial literacy education is important because as students graduate from high school, they are stepping into adult roles with adult responsibilities. It can be all too easy for them to get into financial difficulty early on—particularly when dealing with real-world challengeslike student debt, credit card debt, the cost of living and an uncertain economy. At PlainsCapital Bank, we believe in educating young people to take control of their financial future. And if it can be done in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and experiential, even better.
Let’s face it, most kids would rather stream funny cat videos on YouTube than put together a budget or figure out how to calculate interest rates or taxes. But learning about money, finance, and economics doesn’t have to be dull and boring. Three of the programs sponsored by the Texas Council on Economic Education(TCEE)—the Stock Market Game™,National Economics Challenge, and Texas Personal Finance Challenge—illustrate this point. Which is why PlainsCapital is excited to underwrite TCEE’s statewide spring awards competitions.
Each spring, TCEE holds its annual awards for the winners of the Stock Market Game and the economics and personal finance contests. The awards ceremonies provide an opportunity to showcase student achievements and recognize the teachers who help make it happen, while presenting cash prizes to the winning teams from around the state.
Nearly 1,000 first, second, and third place award winners will be recognized at ceremonies taking place next month in Dallas, Houston, New Braunfels, El Paso, and Brownsville. In addition to sponsoring the competitions, PlainsCapital is playing host to the Dallas awards presentation—the largest of the five regional ceremonies—at its Victory Park branchon May 8.
According to PlainsCapital Bank President and CEO Jerry Schaffner, a basic understanding of financial concepts and the ability to think and reason economically has material applications.
“Young people are energized by money; it already plays a big role in their lives, and they want to know how to control it,” said Schaffner. “One thing that never ceases to amaze me is their reaction to investment and moneymaking. The entrepreneurial spirit comes natural to them, and it’s up to us to help harness it.”
Schaffner acknowledged the ability of the TCEE-sponsored competitions to create learning experiences for students that make decision making come alive, adding, “They get to apply the knowledge they’ve gained, using economics and personal finance skills to help them make real-world decisions, from managing a household budget to decisions involved in the production and marketing of goods and services.”
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Stock Market Game™
The TCEE-sponsored Stock Market Game is an educational simulation designed to develop math, personal finance, writing, research, and critical thinking skills while educating students on the stock market and American economic system. For the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 20,000 Texas students in grades 4 – 12 participated in the competition, in which teams are given a hypothetical $100,000 to invest in the real stock market, making buy, sell and hold decisions on common stock, mutual funds, and bonds. Over the respective 10-week fall and spring simulations, as well as the year-long competition, team members work together to manage their portfolios and create a successful investment management strategy.
Council for Economic Education (CEE) National Economics Challenge
The CCE’s National Economics Challenge is one of the country’s most prestigious student economics competitions. Students compete in the college-bowl type competition, which is designed to test teams on their understanding of basic and advanced economics concepts and their ability to apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills to real-world issues and current events. In 2016, a team from Houston won the national competition.
Personal Finance Challenge
The TCEE’s Personal Finance Challenge is an opportunity for middle and high school students to demonstrate their personal finance knowledge on topics including spending, credit, savings, investing, income, and money management. Team members work collaboratively to find practical solutions to life’s money challenges.
PlainsCapital first partnered with TCEE in 2013 to develop a targeted financial literacy curriculumfor seventh- and eighth-grade students. PlainsCapital’s continued funding supportensures that the TCEE-sponsored middle school curriculum is provided free of charge to teachers across the state, so they can incorporate financial literacy principles into their classroom instructions, as well as to organizations that provide programs for underserved students.
For almost 70 years, TCEE has worked with kindergarten through 12thgrade teachers to establish the seeds of a healthier Texas economy. TCEE’s goals are to provide teachers with hands-on lessons and innovative programs designed to educate students on and practice implementing real-life economic and personal financial skills—thus helping pave the way to a life of economic security and a smarter Texas.
“Financial education can be an effective tool when delivered at the right time, to the right audience, and through the right channels,” said Schaffner.
To learn more about PlainsCapital Bank’s commitmentto contributing to the vitality and quality of life in the communities it serves, and its financial literacy initiatives, in particular, visit the PlainsCapital Bank websiteand follow PlainsCapital on its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTubesocial media channels.