Financial Soccer Piloted in West Virginia Schools
West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue’s NetWorth initiative, a financial education program, joined with Visa USA to pilot a new FIFA World Cup™ branded educational video game. A FIFA Partner since 2007, Visa has been working to roll out Financial Soccer in over 12 countries in the months leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The game is now available for U.S. players, in both English and Spanish, at www.financialsoccer.com.
Planning for the 2010 pilot began in August 2009 and was coordinated by the WVSTO. Fifteen Family and Consumer Science (FACS) and NetWorth Taskforce teachers (9th-12th grade) along with 433 students participated in the statewide pilot. Before starting the pilot, each student was required to take a financial literacy pre-survey. Teachers were given several options on how to utilize the lesson plans and soccer game in their classrooms. Upon conclusion of the component each student was required to take the financial literacy post-survey. Data complied from the surveys demonstrated that the students increased their knowledge 8.95%. A severe winter with considerable school closings and the need to catch up hampered the continuous flow of the pilot.
Visa’s Financial Soccer is a free educational video game that combines the world’s most popular sport with a high-quality financial literacy curriculum. This creates an innovative approach for helping children and adults learn about personal finance.
As part of this initiative, Visa donated Apple MacBooks as prizes in drawings of students and teachers who participated in piloting the Financial Soccer game. The first phase of the pilot was with statewide FACS classes.The second phase was done with NetWorth teachers who also had access to the Visa lessons but also to NetWorth Instructional Guides written specifically for this pilot.
Winners of the MacBooks from the FACS phase were FACS Teacher Mary Catherine Slack of Moorefield Middle School in Hardy County and FACS student, Shawnee Lark, from Linda Liller’s class at Keyser High School in Mineral County.
Winners of the MacBooks from the NetWorth phase were NetWorth Teacher Peggy Johnson of Montcalm and Princeton High Schools in Mercer County and NetWorth student Joshua Braley from Holly Branch’s class at Musselman High School in Berkeley County.
Financial Soccer is part of Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s free, award-winning, financial education program. The program contains comprehensive money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home and in the classroom. The game is the latest component of Visa’s longstanding commitment to financial literacy which has helped millions of people worldwide learn how to manage their money wisely.
"It is critical, especially in today’s challenging economic environment, that everyone have access to the tools and resources they need to make informed financial decisions," said Jason Alderman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Inc. "For more than a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are grateful to Treasurer Perdue for his leadership in strengthening financial education efforts for students. It would have been great to learn more about personal finance when I was in school."
"Fortunately, Financial Soccer provides today’s students with the opportunity and tools to learn about the financial world in ways that were never available to me when I was younger," said Treasurer Perdue.
Financial Soccer challenges players to answer fast-paced, multiple-choice money management questions correctly to advance down the field for a chance to score a goal. Financial Soccer offers single player and head-to-head game play options and is being translated into a dozen different languages. This free game features three difficulty levels – geared to children, teens and adults – and has companion lesson modules for classroom use. Players learn key concepts about saving, responsible spending, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.
Educators are encouraged to review and download the three levels of lesson modules before actual game play; each designed to teach in a 45-minute class, covering skills and information that will be vital to students’ futures: