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Online program brings financial literacy into Canadian classrooms

“It's brilliant,” says John Meston, an educator at Edmonton Public Schools who used the free FinLit101 program in his classrooms where a variety of topics surrounding financial literacy are covered. Pamela Pagano reports.

The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and National Bank are collaborating with provinces across the nation for FinLit101, a new online program mainly helping teachers bring financial literacy into their classrooms.

“Financial literacy is growing in schools,” said Gary Rabbior, CFEE president and originator of Financial Literacy Month, which takes place across Canada every November. “The biggest challenge is teacher training, the teachers, understandably, have not been trained in this subject area.”

The free program covers a variety of topics, starting with the concept of getting money – like basics on how to seek employment.

Teachers can then pic and choose from many more like: saving and investing money, or financial independence.

“I’m going to share with you that without exception and without exaggeration, whenever I tell anybody what it is I do for a living, they always say, ‘I wish I’d had that when I was a kid’,” added Rabbior.

From creating videos for the 10 modules with 50 topics, to developing the content in both English and French. It took a year of research and analysis, and another year to develop the FitLit101 program.  Now available online as a teaching tool since Feb. 2022.

For John Meston, an educator at Edmonton Public Schools, hes already used the program in his classrooms, saying it’s amazing – allowing teachers to break everything down.

“Most of the clips that are there are three or four minutes,” explained Meston. “It’s the perfect amount of time for kids to get in, and then there’s options for them to further explore the topic.”

“It’s brilliant,” he added. “It’s not some crusty old guy like me sitting there trying to explain about life.”

“It’s someone that they can connect with, it’s humorous.”

Do you want to learn more about money too? The program is free and available to all on their website. 

Described as a breakthrough in the financial literacy field.

“Take Financial Literacy Month as your starting block,” said Rabbior. “This is the time.”

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