City of Birmingham commits $1 million to youth financial literacy

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Birmingham has committed $1 million to Birmingham City Schools to establish a financial literacy program.

It’s designed to help students gain lifelong financial skills.

Most people learned reading, writing, and arithmetic in school, but some important life skills like budgeting, the importance of saving, and credit are topics many learned as adults through trial and error.

City leaders, along with the Birmingham Superintendent of Schools, saw a need for this type of education and decided now is the time to teach these life skills.

The program is called the BHM Financial Freedom Project.

It’s a partnership between Birmingham City Schools, IMC Financial Consulting, and the Goalsetter Savings app.

City leaders said this program is the first in the country to couple grade-appropriate and culturally relevant financial education.

The program will be embedded in school curriculum, and students will be provided stock portfolios and bank accounts where family and friends can contribute money toward making them early savers.

Students will learn how to manage those accounts as well as acquire skills to manage household finances, taxes, and cryptocurrency.

“The average credit score for Birmingham residents is 597. I want you all to let that sink in for a second. 597, which is unfortunately 78 points lower than the national average. Now, in addition, nearly half of Birmingham residents deal with delinquency. And so, I hope today’s investment will be an opportunity to end that cycle,” Mayor Randall Woodfin explained.

“We know that managing personal resources is the key to financial success for our students and for their families. By educating and empowering them and equipping them with the skills in order to be successful around financial literacy,” said Birmingham City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Mark Sullivan.

Birmingham educators and parents will also have access to this information.

The pilot phase will launch in October at six Birmingham schools: Jackson-Olin High School, Carver High School, South Hampton K-8 School, Hudson K-8 School, Sun Valley Elementary School and Robinson Elementary School.

For more information on the BHM Financial Freedom Project, visit www.BHMFinancialFreedomProject.com.

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