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Philadelphia Fed, Partners Expand High School Financial Literacy Program

For release: August 29, 2002
Contact: Kathy Woodbury, (215) 574-4119

WILMINGTON - Personal finance challenges such as protecting against identity theft, managing credit cards, and setting a budget, can stump anyone, but for unprepared teenagers, tackling these issues could prove daunting. For that reason, a pilot program designed to provide financial know-how to high school juniors and seniors that began last year is being expanded to include seven more high schools in Delaware.

This school year nearly 650 students will be taking "Keys to Financial Success," a course developed through a partnership among University of Delaware's Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE), the Delaware Bankers Association(DBA), the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware.

"Juniors and seniors are beginning the transition from having tremendous spending power, few obligations, and little incentive to save to becoming adults with major financial responsibilities. However, most of these teens haven't yet developed financial management skills. This project aims to increase their skills in these areas," said Barbara Emery, program coordinator for CEEE. The program, which Emery helped to design, was expanded because of its success in Newark High School.

The Philadelphia Fed is supporting the program in conjunction with its overall financial literacy initiative. "The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is committed to working in our region to help people understand the basics of money management. Financial literacy programs encourage consumers to make more informed financial decisions. The more educated a consumer is about personal finance the less likely he is to be victimized," said Dede Myers, vice president of the Community and Consumer Affairs Department at the Philadelphia Fed.

In addition to providing financial support to administer the program, the DBA offers a $1000 Financial Scholars Award to recognize an outstanding student who completed the course, according to David Bakerian, DBA executive vice president.

The course will be available in the following schools: Newark High School, Christiana High School, and Glasgow High School, all in Newark, Del.; Middletown High School, Middletown; Archmere Academy, Claymont, Del.; Caesar Rodney High School, Camden, Del.; Brandywine High School and Charter School of Wilmington, Wilmington, Del.

The ultimate goal of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware is to continue to provide educators with high-quality programs and workshops that increase the knowledge and understanding of economics and entrepreneurship in all curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Originally organized in 1895, the Delaware Bankers Association is a not-for-profit trade association that represents 40 member financial institutions chartered to do banking business in the state of Delaware.

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of MD & DE Inc. is an accredited nonprofit community service organization dedicated to helping individuals and families resolve financial problems by promoting the wise use of credit through free, confidential budget counseling, debt management repayment program, and community education.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia serves depository institutions in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The Bank supplies cash to these banks and thrifts, supervises them, collects and processes about 5 million checks daily, wires money and securities nationwide, as well as participates in the broader objective of setting monetary policy.

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