Swanville accepts free financial literacy program for first graders

The Swanville School Board decided that sometime this school year, Swanville Elementary School will provide  its first grade students financial literacy learning through the Junior Achievement (JA) program, at no cost to the school.
The JA program was originally founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone and Telegraph, Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co. and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts.
The JA program offers financial literacy, college and career readiness and entrepreneurship education to K-12 students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin.
“The program’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy,” Teresa Giese, chair of the JA Board, to the Board..
Giese said she worked with the program when she taught in classrooms for eight years in St. Cloud before she returned to Morrison County.
“I knew that program would be great for this area,” she said.
Through the program, JA volunteers fundraises the money to buy curriculum for the students. Then, business-minded volunteers come in and teach the students financial literacy skills, Giese said.
The program is already under way in Brainerd and in St. Cloud, but is new to Morrison County. Last year,  five classes were piloted at Lindbergh Elementary School in Little Falls, Giese said.
“The students and the teachers loved it,” she said.
The program correlates with Minnesota state standards and can be taught under the subjects of social studies, language arts and mathematics, Giese said.
Giese said the Swanville Lions had also donated $1,000 toward the program.
The School Board accepted the program, Wednesday.
“I’m excited about this program and think it will be good for the students,” said
Supt. Gene Harthan told the School Board.