Community businesses sponsoring financial curriculum for LPS students

By: Lauren Fabrizi

NelNet and Union Bank & Trust are sponsoring a financial literacy curriculum for Lincoln Public Schools juniors.

Credit scores, taxes, insurance, and 401 K plans are things most high school students rarely think about. But now, they're all part of a new finance curriculum at LPS.

“This is the class to have,” student Hayley Seacrest said. “It was totally changing.”

The new Take Charge curriculum, funded by NelNet and Union Bank, includes an online program called EverFi that's used in more than 5,000 schools nationwide.

The goal? To teach students the importance of money management.

“If we can increase financial knowledge and awareness, we stand a much better chance of helping our students boost their savings and financial prudence no matter where their journeys take them after high school,” Jane Stavem, LPS Assoc. Superintendent for Instruction, said.

The curriculum has been in place since September.

One teacher from North Star High School said it's refreshing to see so many students enthusiastic about the course.

“I have the privilege of hearing daily of how this will impact our students,” Shannon Quible said. “They're in my classrooms and oddly enough, they're very vocal about how useful it is.”

Hayley Seacrest is one of those students. She likes how the course offers job interview prep in addition to the finance topics.

She said after completing the course, she's now ready to jump right into the real world.

“I'm so ready to go through interviews and go through jobs,” Seacrest said. “I'm just ready! It prepared me for my future.”

NelNet and Union Bank are donating $72,000 to LPS over the next three years to fund the curriculum. After the third year, it'll be determined if that partnership will continue.