In my humanities class, one of our trios is studying the 1930s and reading The Grapes of Wrath. As they make text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world connections, they can't help but compare the suffering of the 1930s to today. Many of my students' parents are getting laid off, losing their homes, losing their health insurance, losing their pensions. When they came across the word "apocalyptic" in reference to the economic disaster of the '30s, they really got it.
It's in this context that I'm teaching my Life Skills class. Yesterday I had a speaker, a financial planner, who talked to the kids about the cost of life after high school - buying a house, a car, etc. He told me beforehand that he expected that everyone would know at least one millionaire - but only one kid in the class did. I think he was a little taken aback by some of their questions. One student asked about the financial burden of having a child. The speaker said, "That's something you really need to think long and hard about before deciding to do," not knowing that this student's girlfriend had recently given birth to a daughter. Another student asked, "If my parents have tons of debt and they die, will it all get transferred to me?"
It's scary out there - especially for my kids. That's why I hope you can take a look at my proposal on DonorsChoose.org - I am asking for a camcorder to help us practice some financial literacy skills. Even if you can't spare $10 or $25 right now, it would be great if you could pass it along to friends or family members who care about schools or financial literacy.