Westfield schools get state grant for financial literacy fair

WESTFIELD – The School Committee on Monday approved a $2,500 grant from the Financial Literacy Education Innovation Fund to hold a Credit for Life fair for the city’s high school seniors to be held on March 17 at Westfield State University.
Included in the grant proposal were Westfield High School, Westfield Technical Academy, St. Mary’s School and the White Oak School.
The grants are funded from the Division of Banks through settlements over alleged unlawful lending practices. Through an extensive application process that culminated this month, the Treasurer’s Office awarded 24 high schools across the Commonwealth nearly $60,000 in grant money to expand upon or establish these programs. This is the second installment of these innovation grants, which were established as an ongoing effort to expand financial literacy.
Westfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Scallion said last year’s Credit for Life fair was an opportunity for students to meet with creditors, and gain real life experience.
Seniors are asked to pretend that they are 25 years old, and are given a career and a commensurate salary.
They’re also given a credit score, a savings account and the freedom to make their cash or credit purchases at any of the over 16 booths that include housing, insurance, transportation, food and clothing among others. Their choices are reviewed at the end of the fair to see how they managed their money and whether they ended up in the black… or in the red.
“You had to wear your credit score all day,” Scallion said.
Last week, Tina Macy of VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools) put out the call for volunteers for the event. More than 80 volunteers are needed to assist at the various booths. The commitment is one morning, about 4 hours, from 7:30–11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, at the Woodward Center at Westfield State University.
A volunteer training session will be held on Friday, March 11 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the auditorium at Westfield High School. To volunteer, contact Tina Macy, VIPS of Westfield, at [email protected].

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