Alberta’s government is getting students the training they need to better understand saving, budgeting, spending and investing.
To make sure junior and senior high students have the financial knowledge for today’s world, Alberta’s government is releasing a call for grant proposals totaling $1 million. The successful organization, or group of organizations, will work with schools to provide financial literacy programming to students starting in fall 2021.
Students will study financial concepts such as costs, interest, debt, investing, insurance and how the economy affects their lives. This call for grant proposals will expand learning opportunities to students in classrooms across the province.
“For the first time in a meaningful way, financial literacy is being addressed across multiple subjects and grades in an age-appropriate way in our province. Understanding how money works will help students gain confidence, solve practical problems and prepare them for the future.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
“Strong financial management is the foundation of a successful economy. Likewise, it’s an essential life skill that can add immense value to one’s personal endeavours. This is why I’m proud of the $1 million investment in financial literacy education, which will support our youth transitioning into adulthood and better equip them for personal and professional success.”
Travis Toews, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board
“Integrating financial literacy concepts across multiple grades will help to ensure we don’t just prepare students for a successful career, but for a successful life. Teaching financial literacy will empower countless Alberta students with the foundational tools needed not only to manage their finances, but to build their own business. These are essential skills for our changing economy.”
Janet M. Riopel, president & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
“It’s never too early to become financially literate. The ability to understand finances, in terms of budgets, income, expenses, saving, borrowing, credit – this is knowledge, skills and practices that will not only last one’s entire life, but enable young Albertans to set themselves up for success and to lead a prosperous life. Students are Alberta’s future entrepreneurs – future business owners, restauranteurs, innovators, creators – all roles that require sound knowledge and insight into finances and budgets. I applaud the Government of Alberta for investing in the financial literacy of Alberta’s next generation.”
Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta
This call for grant proposals builds on successful current financial literacy programs, including those offered by Enriched Academy and Junior Achievement in the 2020/21 school year. These organizations have been working with 39,000 students in Grades 4 to 12 in the past year – in urban and rural communities.
“Normally, the seriousness involved in personal financial literacy can be overlooked when you’re 15 or 16. But through this training, my students and I have been able to have meaningful, quality conversations about investing, credit, debt and so much more.”
Owen Weimer, CALM/physical education/science teacher, Grande Cache High School, and participant in Enriched Academy 2020-21 program
“Before joining Junior Achievement, all I knew was that companies pay their employees, and people have to budget their own money. However, after joining, I learned that there are so many more steps and so much effort goes into this. I’ve also learned all about making decisions that financially benefit a business or individual – break-even points, budgeting, investing, financial management and so many more financial skills. This program has made a change in my life for the better.”
Ellen Fu, student participant, 2020-21Junior Achievement program
By focusing on financial literacy, Alberta’s government aligns with the Ministerial Order on Student Learning released last fall. Developed following consultations with parents, teachers and education experts, it calls for students to acquire competence in managing personal finances.
Financial literacy was also among recommendations from Alberta’s independent curriculum advisory panel. In their report, the panel noted students may leave Grade 12 without the basic skills necessary to transition successfully into life after high school. They recommended financial literacy, work readiness, wellness and goal-setting to enhance student learning.
As part of the work to refocus on essential knowledge in Alberta’s elementary schools, financial literacy is also a key component of Alberta’s draft kindergarten to grade 6 curriculum, under the theme of practical skills. In the draft, all students will study financial literacy in all subjects and grades – from counting coins to creating a budget.
- Details on the call for grant proposals will be available in May through the Alberta Purchasing Connection.