Building Financial Literacy in Girls at Garrison Forest School

Since 2015, the Financial Literacy curriculum in the Garrison Forest School’s Lower School has taught young students the importance of becoming financially competent and confident. This vital program connects students to financial experts and gives them real-world experience as they build a strong foundation in financial literacy.

“Students who learn to manage their finances early and often become adults who are better equipped to live independently,” said Dana Livne, who teaches Fourth Grade at Garrison Forest School and oversees the banking program and financial literacy curriculum. “Financial literacy for kids is so important because financial attitudes, habits and norms begin to develop between ages 6 and 12, when students are typically in first through sixth grade. Research shows that by the age of 12, students will develop an economic understanding that researchers describe as ‘essentially adult.’ By including lessons on smart money habits early in their cognitive development, we can encourage young people to save money, foster family conversations and empower students to be stewards of their own financial futures.”

Photo from 2019.

The program continued last year even through COVID-19 restrictions limiting outside guests on campus. Students participated in virtual conversations with banking professionals, authors and financial experts, including with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, which featured a virtual tour of the bank.

Fully back in action this year, Dana and her class are excited to resume hosting Banking Days, where the students serve as tellers in an on-campus branch for M&T Bank. In addition to helping their peers make deposits, they learn about banking, customer service and marketing.

Another key component of the program each year is learning all about the stock market. During the year-long Stock Market Game, offered through Towson University, teams of GFS students are given $100,000 virtual dollars to invest in the stock market. Each week, they track their portfolio and decide what stocks to buy and sell. Students learn how to analyze a stock and decide whether or not to invest.

Through engaging, hands-on activities and learning from professionals, the Financial Literacy program builds not only a strong foundation of financial confidence in each student but creates an enthusiasm and interest in playing an active role in their financial futures.


Editor’s Note: This article is part of our School Spotlight Series. As part of the series, we spotlight one of our partner schools to give you a glimpse into what learning looks like on their campus. To learn more about Garrison Forest School visit their directory listing in our Independent School Directory. Photos were provided by the school. Want to become a school partner? Email us.

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The all-girls’ Kindergarten through 12th grade and coed Preschool programs at Garrison Forest School empower students to reach their fullest potential and live a life of purpose—in an environment where every child is supported, celebrated and encouraged to be his or her true self.

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