Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Financial Literacy Week in full swing

Camas High School Delta Epsilon Chi Association (DECA) students Sara Slayton and Evan Klein are spearheading a project dedicated to teaching and informing students on how to budget and plan financially for the next stage of their lives.  With support from the Camas School Board by proclamation this week, November 29-December 3, has officially been declared as Financial Literacy Week.  Throughout the week, there are posters in the hallways of CHS with financial quotes, a book display in the library, and today, December 1, there is a workshop after school in the Career Center from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. about college budgeting and debt.

Last September, Sara and Evan chose this topic as a DECA project for its strong correlation to the state of our society and economy. They thought that in this current recession, it was more than appropriate to spread the word about the importance of financial literacy.

The Camas High School DECA Chapter is a student-run organization with a membership of approximately 100 students. These students are enrolled in marketing classes at various levels, and are also members of the International Organization of DECA. As DECA members, the students compete every January in an ‘area competition’ where they try to qualify for the state competition held in March in Bellevue, WA. Students either compete in role plays, or they submit research or chapter-wide projects.

In addition to the activities of Financial Literacy Week, Sarah and Evan are organizing and implementing several activities that are attracting the attention of our chapter and school. Some of these activities include:

·         A seven-week curriculum that Sara and Evan designed for a CHS Freshman Focus class. They have taught two lessons so far, one about earning potential, wages, and taxes, and the other about budgeting, saving, and borrowing. They have three more lessons planned, with a post-test at the end of the seven weeks. Each lesson lasts 30 minutes and occurs every Tuesday.
·         For the Advanced Marketing class, they invited guest speakers from the community to share with students insights about their professions. These speakers include Michael Colvin, Chase Bank; Debbi Lessard, CPA  at Paulson and Lessard; Mike Nichols, Entrepreneur; and Joe Williams,  Financial Planner at Edward Jones.
·         Library Book Display with books about financial planning, budgeting, and college debt.
·         Poster campaign with statistics about financial literacy, bankruptcy, etc.
·         Article in the Camasonian (CHS Newspaper).
·         A website where visitors can learn about the importance of financial literacy, download lessons and documentation, and view photos of the entire project. The URL is:

Sara and Evan are also official educators of the National Financial Capability Challenge, organized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This challenge is designed to increase the financial knowledge and capability of high school aged youth across the United States. In April, 2011, they will take the Challenge Exam. If they place in the top 20% across the nation, they’ll receive National Financial Capability Challenge Award Certificates to include in their project.