Turn Key Solution for Financial Education

Who is this program for?

Elementary & Middle School Students

College Students

Adult Education


Why It Works

#1 Signature Strengths

We remind students of the skills they were born with and use every day that can be applied to smart decisions about money. They problem-solve, they make choices, they perform under pressure.

#2 Goals

We help them paint a picture of who they want to be and the life they want to live. They see how money, and how understanding one’s “money scripts,” can support that journey.

#3 Manage Conditioning

We examine how things like peer pressure, social messaging, stereotypes about gender, race, and culture, and low self-esteem can lead to bad financial decisions and take resources away from their goals.

#4 Personal Finance 101

Lessons on debt management, saving, investing, insurance, paying for college, and the like, all in the context that being financially literate can help them be who they want to be and that understanding money is relevant.

Our Curriculum

The Winning Play$ full program consists of 13 lessons.

Core Strengths and Goal Setting

Lesson 1: What You're Made of! Signature Strengths

In this lesson, students are reminded of something called 'Signature Strengths'. These are skills we are born with to help us navigate through life: Our ability to make choices; our ability to learn. Intuition, etc. These are skills we often forget when facing financial decisions and challenges. Throughout the Winning Play$ program, students will come back to what they learn in this lesson to help them identify techniques and strategies to move beyond the challenges we discuss.

Lesson 2: Goals! Who You Want to Be

One of the cornerstones of the Winning Play$ program is its goal- oriented approach to creating financial security. In lesson 2, students will learn how to identify goals. They are also introduced to Dr. James Prochaska and his Pro-Change group's behavior change model - including the stages of behavior change and techniques they can use to move through them. Students will be able to: Identify their 'stage of change' for changing financial behaviors. Generate a list of personal priorities. Analyze their priorities in order to create short-term and long-term goals.

Conditioning: Scripts: What We're 'Told' to Believe About Money

Lesson 3: Social Messages: "Keeping Up"

In lesson 3, students examine how messages from advertisers and the media affect their beliefs and financial behavior. They are introduced the concept of Money Scripts - which is a term that will be used often throughout the remainder of Winning Play$. Money scripts are attitudes and behaviors we have learned about money through experience and or observation. In this lesson, students will see how advertisers and the media script us to believe we need certain products - and condition us to believe we need certain things to be 'cool', 'accepted', or 'special' like our favorite celebrities. Students will create strategies using 'Signature Strengths' to stand up to these powerful influences. They will also see how staying connected to their goals is one of their most useful tools and resources.

Lesson 4: Social Messages: Gender

In this lesson, students explore how gender plays out in their financial experience. They will discover how men and women have different financial beliefs and behaviors, and how the world treats them differently when it comes to money. This awareness is vital because these experiences shape our beliefs about ourselves and our choices. In addition, students will identify strategies to stand-up to internal and external pressures to conform to gender stereotypes. And they will see how important it is to be empowered with information. They also develop strategies and techniques for having healthy conversations about money with the opposite sex.

Lesson 5: Social Messages: Ethnicity and Race

In this lesson, students explore how race and ethnicity play out in their financial lives. There are different stereotypes associated with different racial and ethnic groups. Some are perceived to be overly frugal. Some are perceived to be financially savvy. Some are perceived to be financially illiterate. Students will see how these 'labels' affect how they are treated by society, lenders, and other financial institutions. We also examine why we often fit our stereotypes, and identify 'Signature Strengths' and strategies to help them get past limiting beliefs they may hold because of their race or ethnicity.

Lesson 6: Social Messages: Childhood Messages

The ways in which we see our parents or primary caregivers relate to money has a tremendous impact on our own beliefs and behaviors. In this lesson, students explore how these 'childhood money scripts' are affecting their financial experiences. Young people who grow up in homes where there are not healthy conversations about money tend to have poor communication skills about financial issues. Family patterns about debt, saving, spending, and honoring financial commitments also leave a mark on behavior. In addition to looking at 'childhood money scripts' students will create a profile of their financial attitudes and behaviors about things like saving, investing, and debt.

Financial Lessons

Lesson 7: Your Financial Blueprint

In this lesson, students will create a financial plan (aka budget) that will allow them to identify and organize their finances. They will breakdown the different components of a budget, or as we call it, a Blueprint. They will examine their spending, and determine which expenditures are fixed, variable, and discretionary. Students will also learn how income is affected by taxes. Students will connect 'Signature Strengths' to financial behavior that will help them realize their goals. These signature strengths will be applied to student budgeting decisions as well as to their understanding of income, banking, and taxes.

Lesson 8: Savings and Banking Basics

In this lesson, students learn the importance of saving money as a means to achieve their goals and as a way to create security in the event of unexpected circumstances or emergencies. Students will determine what 'stage of change' they are in terms of savings. They will also explore the benefits of starting their savings plan early in order to save money for long-term goals, like financial well-being in retirement. We explore various banking products and services, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, CD's, and money market accounts. They will identify 'Signature Strengths' and strategies to transcend money scripts that may have a negative impact on their ability to save. They will also identify the best places to save money to achieve their goals and objectives.

Lesson 9: Investing

In this lesson, students learn why it is important to invest, or grow their money, in order to meet their financial goals. Students will also learn about the different types of investments and different ways to grow their money. We also discuss gender differences in investing and have them examine how other 'money scripting', due to factors such as ethnicity or race, may be playing out in their attitudes about investing. Students analyze sample investment portfolios and will learn how to make investment plans for different times in their lives.

Lesson 10: The 411 on Credit and Debit

In this lesson, students learn about debt and credit. In addition to learning the basics: Credit, credit history, credit reports, how credit cards work, etc., they also learn how their credit history impacts their ability to get a job and own a home. Students will gain an understanding of the 'true cost' of debt, and develop strategies for maintaining healthy debt levels and credit histories. We also discuss the difference between 'good debt' and ‘bad debt', in other words, which debt can help them achieve their financial goals and which will be a hindrance.

Lesson 11: Loans

In this lesson, we delve further into different types of loans. Students examine how loans can help (or hinder) their financial goals, and learn how to shop around for the best loans. In some of the exercises associated with the lesson, students shop around for the best auto and home loans. We also examine predatory lending practices, such as pay-day lenders and check cashing operations.

Lesson 12: Insurance

Winning Play$ discusses insurance as a form a risk-management. Students examine how insurance can help protect their financial and physical well-being and help ensure that they meet their financial goals. They learn the different types of insurance, and how to 'shop around' for the best policies. Students will also gain skills to help them read insurance claims and inquire and advocate for better coverage. They will be educated and empowered to make good decisions and optimize 'pay outs' from insurance companies.

Lesson 13: Paying for College

In this final lesson of Winning Plays, students will learn how to make the best choices when it comes to paying for college. Students will learn how college is relevant to their economic future. They will learn how college funding works, improving their chance of successfully navigating the financial aspect of this part of their education. They will also learn key terms regarding financial aid, how to critically read a financial aid offer, and how to look for scholarships.

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Our Goals

Through the program, students will:

  • Set short-, intermediate-, and long-term financial goals
  • Move beyond conditioned belief and thought patterns due to negative conditioning related to gender, race, culture, and economic circumstance
  • Identify “signature strengths” that can help them meet their financial goals
  • Create a budget to meet their financial goals
  • Create an investment portfolio that is in line with their values and financial goals
  • Use and understand key financial vocabulary in order to understand financial articles, forms, and paperwork
  • Shop around for the best loan and insurance rates and learn different methods to pay for college
  • Have insightful and productive conversations with family, friends, and significant others about money and financial issues

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