BCHS students complete SMART financial program
by Special to the Banner
May 19, 2013 | 404 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo
STUDENTS from Bradley Central High School show off their certificates after completing a financial literacy program provided by Athens Federal Bank.
Contributed photo STUDENTS from Bradley Central High School show off their certificates after completing a financial literacy program provided by Athens Federal Bank.

Athens — In a ceremony hosted on May 10, 166 Bradley Central High School students received certifications for successfully completing the Athens Federal Community Bank SMART Start Financial Literacy program, powered by EverFi.

Larry Wallace, chairman of the AFCB board of directors and senior vice president of Tennessee Wesleyan College, served as the guest speaker for the certification ceremonies, offering congratulations and highlighting the importance of continued sound financial management as students apply for college and enter the work force.

This semester concludes the first of Athens Federal’s three-year $51,000 commitment to bring financial literacy education to high school students across McMinn, Monroe, Meigs and Bradley counties by providing them with access to the Athens Federal SMART Start Financial Literacy learning platform.

“Our students have benefitted from the SMART Start program in so many ways,” said Patrick Spangler, BCHS teacher and EverFi program liaison. “We are proud to celebrate our partnership with Athens Federal and are grateful for their willingness to provide this technology to Bradley Central students.”

Those certified join more than four million students across the United States who have completed the EverFi learning platforms. The leading education technology company to teach, access and certify students in financial literacy and other critical skills, EverFi is powering a national movement that enables students to learn using the latest in new media technology, including Level 4 simulations, avatars, gaming and adaptive-pathing.

Through this platform, financial concepts are brought to life for today’s digital generation, making it fun for students to become certified in dozens of topics in personal finance and empowering them to become more informed, responsible citizens.

Using the acronym SMART (Save, Make a Budget, Avoid debt, Resist overspending, and Think about your future) to define the overall objectives of the program, Athens Federal has partnered with EverFi to bring the SMART Start interactive financial management program to the following high schools across the bank’s service area at absolutely no cost to the schools: Bradley Central High School, Walker Valley High School, Cleveland High School, McMinn County High School, McMinn Central High School, Meigs County High School, Sequoyah High School, Sweetwater High School and Tellico Plains High School.

“Because we are a community bank, Athens Federal is committed to providing financial education and awareness,” Jeff Cunningham, president and CEO of Athens Federal, said. “The EverFi platform has given us the opportunity to ensure students in our communities are learning financial management and other essential life skills that will better equip them to become fiscally responsible citizens.” 

Amy Jo Castor, Athens Federal CRA officer and director of the SMART Start program, said “a high percentage” of students in the high schools represented earned personal finance certifications upon successfully completing the program.

“We are proud of the success we have achieved in our inaugural year,” Castor said.

The 10-unit course offers approximately six hours of programming aimed at teaching, assessing and certifying junior- and senior-level students in a variety of relevant financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, 401k savings plans and other essential concepts that adhere to the state of Tennessee’s Personal Finance curriculum requirement and national financial literacy standards.

Since 1934, Athens Federal Community Bank has been committed to meeting the financial needs of McMinn, Monroe and Bradley counties and the surrounding area.

For additional information, visit www.athensfederal.com, follow AFCB on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, call 423-745-1111 or stop by any of the offices in Athens, Cleveland, Etowah, Madisonville and Sweetwater.