April is financial literacy month, which always stirs debate over how to best teach kids about money in school. This week, Right About Money contributor and award-winning personal finance teacher Brian Page highlights nonprofits that are making a difference. These organizations offer valuable, free financial literacy resources. We urge educators, thought leaders and others to share this Key Resource series and help the financial literacy movement build from the ground up.
Take Charge Today is a resource for teachers who don’t have time to build every lesson from scratch but still want to put their personal stamp on their financial literacy class. This is a program designed by educators, for educators. It is a part of the University of Arizona’s Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research.
One of the nation’s most respected financial literacy advocates, Michael E. Staten, leads the program, which is guided by the three pillars: curriculum design, instructional support, and professional development.
I recently interviewed Lisa Bender, director of the national master educator team at Take Charge Today. I’ve admired Lisa’s work and passion for years. She’s a teacher who rolls up her sleeves everyday to be great for kids. And when I asked Lisa what she wants the world to know about Take Charge Today she noted, “Each lesson is field tested by the master educator team prior to the lesson being delivered.”
There are seven different units. For middle school and high school Take Charge Today offers turnkey comprehensive lessons that run two weeks, nine weeks, a semester, a trimester, or a full year. Each lesson incorporates vocabulary reinforcement, a suggested way into the content, concluding activity, multiple choice assessment questions and answers, performance tasks, a PowerPoint, information sheet, and a note-taking guide.
Take Charge Today’s Active Learning Tools reinforce comprehension of financial literacy concepts. They include instructional steps for teachers to integrate technology, apps, music, movie clips and lessons, and vocabulary activities designed to engage learners.
Take Charge Today offers a Master Educator Program, which consists of nine instructors that travel the country to train teachers that are unfamiliar with the subject and how to best use the resources. These master educators are teachers themselves and understand the challenges teachers face in the classroom—and what works well for kids.
In recent years, Take Care Today has led training programs at the St. Louis Federal Reserve, Maryland State Department of Education, Iowa State Cooperative Extension, and West Virginia Finance University, and will do so in10 states this summer. North Carolina’s education department chose Take Charge Today as the primary resource for its personal finance component. The organization delivers workshops each summer for the North Carolina Department of Career & Technical Education summer conference.
To learn more about Take Charge Today visit their website or follow them @UA_TCToday.
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