City of Birmingham dedicates $1m to financial literacy for young people

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The City of Birmingham has pledged $1 million to Birmingham City schools to set up a financial literacy program.

It is designed to help students build lifelong financial skills.

Most people learned reading, writing, and arithmetic in school, but some important life skills like budgeting, the importance of savings, and credit are things many learned in school. adulthood through trial and error.

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

The program is called the BHM Financial Freedom Project.

This is a partnership between Birmingham City Schools, IMC Financial Consulting and the Goalsetter Savings app.

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

The program will be integrated into the school curriculum and students will be provided with stock portfolios and bank accounts where family and friends can contribute money to make them early savers.

Students will learn how to manage these accounts and gain skills to manage household finances, taxes, and cryptocurrency.

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

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

Educators and parents in Birmingham 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 BHM’s Financial Freedom Project, visit www.BHMFinancialFreedomProject.com.

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Geraldine L. Melton