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Editorial: Financial literacy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Students in area schools are learning important lessons on financial literacy, lessons many adults -- including some politicians -- would be wise to learn.

Focus Bank has worked with 41 schools in Southeast Missouri and northwest Arkansas to help students ages 8 to 13 learn basic financial principles. The program, called MoneyIsland, is a cartoon-themed approach that helps students learn about saving, spending, investing and how to properly use credit. It also provides avenues for teachers to test their students knowledge of the principles.

Other financial literacy teaching methods, such as the Junior Achievement programs, are also being used by local teachers. Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Girardeau are teaching similar lessons outside the classroom. And gaining more financial knowledge extends to the university level, with Southeast Missouri State University also emphasizing important concepts.

Regardless of the age of the students, these are critical lessons to learn. We applaud the schools -- and the community partners -- for their efforts. With a solid foundation in financial literacy, these young people can make decisions in life that will improve their financial standing, helping them build long-term financial stability and potentially avoid the burden that overspending and bad debt can lead to.

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