The Birmingham City Council, in partnership with Goalsetter and IMC Financial Consulting, approved plans on Tuesday for a financial literacy program to be offered at Birmingham city schools to students wishing to receive coaching in financial investing and stock management.
The $1 million program will be a first of its kind in the U.S when implemented, according to the city, with the intention being to “couple grade-appropriate and culturally relevant financial education with a savings account, an investment platform, and classroom curriculum,”-, which is provided by Goalsetter and Goalsetter Classroom.
“The time is now to ensure that our youth are the most financially prepared and successful generation our country has produced,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in a statement released on Tuesday. “We have both a professional and moral responsibility to ensure the academic and financial success of our students. Their participation in our local, national and global economy is critical to the future of our community and our country, and it is our responsibility to cement their financial foundation as a cornerstone of their financial well-being.”
The program’s pilot phase will begin in October at six Birmingham schools and will include in-classroom teaching, one-on-one financial consulting, financial empowerment fairs, and monthly workshops, alongside a financial app for students by Goalsetter.
The Goalsetter Foundation will also donate stock to Birmingham students provided by its partner organizations, which include companies like Delta, Twitter, and Lyft.
“Our job is not just to prepare students for college and careers, it is to prepare students for life, and that’s what the Birmingham Financial Freedom Project does,” said Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan in a statement on Tuesday. “This is a one-of-a-kind partnership because the deliverables are built on a 360-approach to solving the wealth gap by providing the education, resources and opportunity needed to break the cycle of poverty and get people on the path to building wealth.”
Birmingham schools included in the program are Jackson-Olin High School, Carver High School, South Hampton K-8 School, Hudson K-8 School, Sun Valley Elementary School, and Robinson Elementary School, according to the city.
“Most initiatives solely focus their resources on what’s needed to establish a functioning learning environment for the students, and unintentionally overlook the faculty/staff and parents/caretakers that will be cultivating it,” said IMC Financial Consulting CEO Isaac M. Cooper in a statement on Tuesday. “We can only give students the foundation they need for future financial success if educators and staff feel more secure in their own financial beliefs, knowledge, habits and goals. And we must be equally vigilant about providing the adults in their households with the same level of support.”