And she's found a reliable tool for these lessons in
Chastain's students researched local nonprofits last year using The News and put together presentations on these organizations.
"There have been several articles over the past few months that we used," Chastain said.
They've also searched the advertising pages for local job openings and have used the newspaper to compare rent prices in
"They love the newspaper," Chastain said. "Some of them take it home. At the end of the day, they come by and pick it up, and their parents read it."
Chastain's students in her financial literacy class also learn how to navigate the pitfalls of personal finance through a competitive program called "The Budget Challenge," a personal finance simulation played in real time over a 10-week period.
They also follow current events, and the students have had lively discussions about how local tax money may or may not be used to support the removal efforts happening now for the Golden Ray, a 656-foot ship that tipped over in the St. Simons Sound in September.
"The students are curious about that," Chastain said. "They're being conscious about how their tax money is used."
The class is all about real-world education, Chastain said.
"Financial skills, soft skills, interpersonal skills -- it helps them with critical thinking, decision making," she said. "They'll also get to hear someone else's opinion."
Soft skills education like this is crucial to the full development of students, said
"It's essential for the students to learn it now, before they get out on their own, before they go off to school or start a career after high school," Townsend said. "They need to know about financial awareness."
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