RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia high school students exposed to a new online financial literacy learning tool this past school year say they are smarter about personal finance issues than they were before and believe all Virginia high school students should take the course – that according to a survey by the Genworth Foundation, the program's sponsor, and EverFi, Inc.
Last November, the Genworth Foundation announced a three-year commitment to strengthen financial education in more than 300 high schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia by introducing a six-hour online financial literacy course - Money, My Future(SM)' - designed by Washington D.C.-based EverFi. The EverFi program aligns with Virginia state standards and uses the latest in new media technologies - 3D gaming, social networking, online animation video and messaging tools - to make complex financial concepts compelling and relevant for today's digital generation. The program requires minimal teacher training and few school-based resources to implement. More than 100 high schools statewide were introduced to the course last fall.
During the 2010-2011 school year, more than 8,000 students from 84 Virginia High Schools were active on the My Money, My Future network. Students taking the special online course spent more than 34,000 hours on the site.
A survey of participating students who took the course yielded the following results:
- 82% of the students participating in all nine of the course modules rated them 'valuable' or 'extremely valuable.'
- 70% of student respondents said that financial education was 'extremely important' for their financial future
- 74% of student respondents felt that all students should be required to take My Money, My Future.
- 45% of student respondents say they have had a conversation with their parents or an adult about personal finance since taking My Money, My Future.
- 86% of student respondents believed that using interactive, online technology courses similar to My Money, My Future is an effective way to teach students
- Students were asked to rate their financial knowledge on a scale of 1-10 before and after taking My Money, My Future :
- Before taking the course, more than 64% of student respondents rated their financial knowledge at a '4' or below
- After taking the course, more than 83% of student respondents rate their financial knowledge at a '7' or above.
Among teachers, 92% felt My Money, My Future enhanced the material they were teaching and 96% would like the curriculum offered to future students in their high school.
"Freshmen at Lee High are excited each time they log in to the My Money, My Future program," said Wendy Enoch, a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton City. "Using components such as games and avatars to capture the attention of teenagers in an area that sometimes bores them is genius. The lessons learned through this program will guide their financial decisions well into adulthood."
In 2009, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) mandated a course in economics and personal finance as a requirement for high school graduation. The mandate begins in the fall of 2011. In implementing My Money, My Future, the Genworth Foundation will continue to work with the State Department of Education, local school districts and other nonprofits, including the Virginia Council on Economic Education, to provide teacher training and professional development at no cost to teachers or schools.
"Financial literacy empowers people to make informed and responsible choices and is a building block for a secure financial future," said Leon E. Roday, chairman of the Genworth Foundation board of directors. "By adding private-sector expertise, resources, and funds to the work being done by non-profit organizations and community groups that specialize in financial education, we can significantly raise the quantity and quality of financial education in our schools."
About the Genworth Foundation
Established in 2005, the Genworth Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Genworth Financial. The Foundation is committed to helping build strong communities around the world. Each year, the Foundation makes direct investments in the community through charitable contributions and matching gifts. For more about Genworth in the community, visit genworth.com/community.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company that is dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures. Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve homeownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital.
Genworth has approximately 6,500 employees and operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit genworth.com. From time to time, Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of genworth.com.
EverFi Inc., based in Washington, D.C., provides the leading education media platform to teach students the core concepts of financial literacy, student loan management and other key life skills. Through its proprietary technology platform, the company is powering a national movement that enables foundations, corporations, school districts and universities in 48 states to launch community-based programs in a variety of off-curriculum subjects. EverFi's award-winning platform is designed to provide an exciting and engaging experience for students and features the latest technology, including rich media, high-definition video, diagrams and avatars. Learn more at www.everfi.com.
SOURCE Genworth Financial