(Photos by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
Utilizing materials designed for a high school curriculum, Spencer Middle School Family Consumer Science teacher Jenny Reis and her students are exploring the world of financial responsibility.
With sponsorship from The Farmers Bank of Spencer, Reis is using syndicated radio host and FOX News' personal finance guru Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University program to introduce approximately 160 young people to the importance of money management.
"This is the first year we've introduced this program," Reis said. "This is my first job and I knew coming in they wanted to introduce the 21st Century Skills component into Family Consumer Science. I knew financial literacy was a part of that."
Reis, who works at The Farmers Bank during the summer, said, "Debbie Sundall (senior vice president/human resources at Farmers Trust & Savings Bank) took the initiative to come up with the idea."
Sundall has joined Reis in the classroom on a few occasions since the program began, shortly after the completion of the Clay County Fair.
While the material is designed for high school students, it was tailored to suit the middle school classes.
"We're seeing where they're at. We're trying to determine what we want them to know and understand in the eighth grade," Reis explained.
Using some of Ramsey's video presentations, Reis said the students were engaged.
"He's a great presenter, but it's very challenging for them," Reis said. "They are familiar with some of the topics, but not very in depth."
A variety of topics, ranging from establishing checking and savings accounts, to credit card usage, interest and loans, to investing and identity theft were covered in the course which will conclude before the students break for the Christmas holiday.
"We're trying to expose them to these things before they come face-to-face with it," Reis said.