Supervisor Cook Promotes Financial Literacy, Board Honors Junior Achievement for Their Efforts

It seems that every day we read another article in the newspaper about American consumers facing one sort of financial hardship or another. April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month, and rightfully so. Too few of us are sufficiently educated about our personal finances. In 2005, the national savings rate fell to negative 0.5 percent for the first time since the Great Depression, and since 2005, the American public has been spending more money than it has earned after taxes. Our youth are not properly prepared either. Sixty percent of American teens do not know the difference between cash, credit cards and checks, and only 6.9 percent of 12th grade students scored a grade of C or better on a recent national financial literacy survey.

Here in Fairfax County we have made a major push in addressing that lack of knowledge. The Fairfax County Public School System has, with the support of local businesses, partnered with Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area, an organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

They are constructing a 20,000 square foot facility at the Frost-Woodson Campus designed to prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, and learn the value of contributing to their communities. The program will provide a unique educational experience to more than 14,000 middle school students each year, helping them understand many basic life skills including individual and family budgeting. It will also provide an information base for some slightly more complex but equally important topics like the role of financial institutions and the advantages and disadvantages of credit, interest, saving and investing.

This is knowledge all of us should have, but many lack. Fortunately, with this program our next generation may become more financially savvy.
To help raise awareness on financial literacy and to recognize Junior Achievement for its efforts, Supervisor Cook brought Junior Achievement before the Board to receive a proclamation and asked for April to be declared Financial Literacy Month in Fairfax County. Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement, and Bud Morrisette, from Interstate Relocation Services and a Junior Achievement supporter, accepted the proclamation.

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