This school year,
About 1,900 Spokane-area students, including 110 students from
For the fall session,
The unit will be on loan from sister organization
The mobile unit will be transported here via semitrailer, and components will be assembled at the Shriner's Event Center to simulate a business park with 8,000 square feet of interactive space.
"Students really enjoy the hands-on activity," says Volz.
In preparing students for the program this year, she's leading students through a 12-lesson plan that will cover income, investing, financial institutions, credit, debt, insurance, and budgeting options.
Groups of six students will be paired with a volunteers from the business community who will counsel them throughout the day as they weigh budgeting options, she says.
"It's neat to see the students who are 13 and 14 years old interact with community volunteers," Volz says.
The volunteers also see the positive side of students that age, she adds.
Volz says she welcomes the addition to the financial literacy curriculum that the
"This has increased our time spent on it and has given us a new way of presenting it in a fun, interactive experience," she says.
"The difference between responsible financial planning and just not knowing can lead to decades of putting themselves ahead or digging themselves out of a hole," says Campbell, a Spokane-based lending manager for
Were it not for programs like
After students go through the program, though, he says, "I'm pretty sure there is a higher level of appreciation of what parents do and of the sacrifices they are making on a daily basis to support children."
He says the life scenarios posed by the program encourage students to think critically about their financial decisions.
"For many students, it's probably the first time they start thinking at that level," Campbell says.
The program also could encourage more students to start thinking about college at a younger age and preparing for it financially, he contends.
"They may walk into it asking, 'How does anyone spend
It's not just youth who learn from the experience, Moore says.
The program also has been offered for five years at another permanent facility in
"The scenarios and modules set up through the mobile unit are no different than those at
Moore says the
Moore says he anticipates that the number of students served by the mobile
The Office of the Superintendent
The organization was founded in