Region One ESC GEAR UP implements learning activities to help students grasp the essentials of personal finance, and to give them opportunities to practice core skills and showcase the real-world impact of the financial decisions they make. The goal is to assist students and parents with increasing knowledge and aptitudes in financial literacy and economics, and financial aid topics including college financing, student loans, and FAFSA.
In middle school grades, financial literacy focuses on personal skills and interests, career options, and personal/family financial management. Topics include wants vs. needs, banking basics, budgeting, financial goal setting, smart shopping habits, savings, and the basics of financial aid.
At the high school level, financial literacy introduces cohort students to the importance of making wise financial and educational decisions. Reality simulations are incorporated to model the impact of financial decisions. Detailed instruction on earning and spending, saving and investing, credit and borrowing, insuring and protecting, and paying for college is provided.
This is all achieved through providing stand-alone professional conferences for students, parents, and educators, as well as by imbedding financial literacy strands in other GEAR UP offerings. Additionally, financial literacy instruction is provided at the campus level through classroom presentations, parent meetings, and campus based financial literacy events. Region One ESC partners with a collective impact group known as the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance (DSTFLA) to provide these opportunities.
As a result, over 5,000 students have participated over an eight year span in our student financial literacy conference called The Financial Literacy Summit. A professional educator conference called Moolah Palooza Educator Fest has been hosted for four consecutive years, bringing forth the best in financial literacy curriculum to K-12 educators in our service area. Finally, countless follow up events have been hosted in our regional school districts sharing resources and replicating events for students, parents, and educators alike.
- Financial Literacy Summit
- Moolah Palooza Educator Fest
- Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance
Students, parents, and educators have received invaluable information about financial aid counseling/advising through their participation in these and other GEAR UP events.