Winooski, VT – Today, Treasurer Mike Pieciak and Commissioner of Financial Regulation Kevin Gaffney paid a lively visit to award-winning teacher Courtney Poquette’s classroom at Winooski High School. Together they marked the beginning of Financial Literacy Month and a partnership between their offices to highlight financial literacy and empowerment concepts throughout the month of April.
In Monday’s 4th period class, Ms. Poquette’s students participated alongside Treasurer Pieciak and Commissioner Gaffney in an interactive lesson in which they built a basic budget including housing, retirement savings, transportation, food, and more. “We know that Vermonters make decisions that affect their wallets every day, but that only a fraction of high school students in Vermont receive education on these critical concepts. It’s been such an inspiration to hear from Ms. Poquette’s students today about their learning and their vision for their financial futures,” said Treasurer Pieciak.
National Financial Literacy month is recognized annually in April to promote the importance of financial well-being, increase public awareness about the need for personal finance education, and encourage smart money-management skills that can help Americans improve their understanding of things like banking, credit management, and home ownership.
Commissioner Gaffney applauded the ingenuity of the work in Winooski. “I commend Ms. Poquette for her initiative and leadership in delivering a valuable personal finance course curriculum to Winooski High School. The engagement demonstrated by her students in today’s exercise is evidence of their readiness to apply the financial life skills learned to real-life financial decisions they will face throughout their lives.” He added: “This course, as well as those offered by other Vermont high schools, complements ongoing state efforts to increase the financial well-being of all Vermonters.”
Courtney Poquette teaches personal finance at Winooski High School, where all students take a course that covers budgeting, taxes, retirement savings, and the value of compound interest. She testified before the House Committee on Education earlier this year on H.228, a bill that would require this kind of course be taught in every Vermont public high school.
“I see the impact of this education each day in my classroom. It was incredible for students to have conversations with top leaders in the state who also champion these efforts. Financial literacy education reaches not only students but their families; guaranteeing this education would promote increased financial well-being for all Vermont residents,” said Courtney Poquette.
The State Treasurer’s Office and the Department of Financial Regulation will be working together throughout April on this public awareness campaign. Look for #DollarWiseVT and #FinLitMonth on our social media channels to follow the effort.