William Johnson wrote an article today entitled "They Don't Teach Home Ownership in School" which was kind of eye-opening for me and made me scratch my head a little.
You see, here in Tucson, our association has been doing just that for seven years through an outreach program called "From High School to Home Ownership". It's been in 25 schools and has reached over 1,000 students. In a nutshell (and I'm quoting from our association's materials:)
From High School to Homeownership: The Four Key Financial Steps To Success
This program is designed to help high school students take a critical look at their future financial responsibilities and the process of purchasing or renting a home. Students learn how their behavior with money and credit in their teen years can have long-term consequences regarding their ability to rent or buy a home in the future. Teachers can utilize the program as part of their curriculum to enhance their students everyday life and workplace skills. The presentations highlight the importance of financial literacy and the critical timing of it in this economic condition. While it may be some time before students consider whether they will rent or buy, having a clear picture of the steps involved will help them make better financial decisions now. Teachers have an opportunity to invite professionals within the real estate industry to help students understand that their actions have a direct impact on their adult lives. Not only do the students benefit from these wonderful lessons, but so do the teachers!
The ‘Four Key Financial Steps to Success’ guide, a comprehensive 65-page curriculum, features four modules: Budgeting, Credit, Renting and Buying. The program also features an Essay Contest each semester where students have the opportunity to win scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge on the four key steps.
I guess it's kind of amazing to me to think that more associations AREN'T doing an outreach program like this! It's kind of a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. We talk about educating our kids about financial matters, credit concerns and so on but yet not a whole bunch has been done!
I'm going to throw this out - if your association is interested in creating a program like this, give the Tucson Association of REALTORS® a call at 520-327-4218 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.