(Treasurer Lynn) Fitch visited Meridian to promote her TEAM (Treasure’s Education About Money) program.
“Our state does not require students to know about finances, so our office is reaching out to teach students about financial education,” Fitch said. “This is an ongoing program. I try to go to at least one school a day throughout Mississippi and we’ve been to many schools, public, private and parochial. We try to make it a personal touch because one day they will have their own car payment, phone payment and as they come to realize, oh yea, their own checking account.”
Fitch said according to a report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mississippi is the least financially capable state in the country.
“Since I took office in 2012, improving Mississippi’s financial literacy has been one of my highest priorities,” Fitch said. “We are building a team of partners who agree that financial literacy is vital for our workforce and our consumers with a vision of providing financial literacy education statewide.”
The TEAM program uses a web-based interactive learning platform that allows students to complete modules on classroom computers, Fitch said. The program teaches, assesses and certifies students in financial literacy through 3D games, sophisticated animation and video, among other things.
“We’ve partnered with Trustmark Bank and other private companies to make this a free program for our ninth through 12th grade students,” Fitch said. “We really feel this will help their life skills.”