CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Marion County high school student is the overall winner of the 2009 National Foundation for Credit Counseling Financial Literacy Poster Contest.
Leah Ellyson, a junior at North Marion High School in Farmington, received a finalist T-shirt, an award plaque, a $500 savings bond and an all-expense paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C., where she was recognized as part of national Financial Literacy Month. Josiah Wise, a sixth grader at Milton Middle School in Cabell County, was a runner-up in the middle school category for sixth through eighth grade students. He received a commemorative T-shirt acknowledging his achievement.
“Leah and Josiah are shining examples of the talented students we have in West Virginia,” said state Superintendent Steve Paine. “Their message is so important, particularly during the economic difficulties many families are now facing across the country. Helping students understand the importance of financial literacy and the serious consequences that may result from a lack of understanding about personal finances is an important part of education in the 21st century.”
A panel of judges representing a cross-section of the media, government, education and consumer groups, chose Ellyson’s poster as the best representation of this year’s theme of “I’m going to be a millionaire because I…” Judging was based on creativity, artwork and expression of theme. The contest is designed to engage students in thinking about how to manage money effectively, and offers them a creative outlet to express their knowledge. It also provides the opportunity for recognition of student artwork, and rewards local and national winners with U.S. savings bonds
“It’s a real privilege for us to honor Leah as the 2009 national poster contest winner,” said Susan C. Keating, NFCC president and CEO. “It is so critical to instill the idea of financial responsibility into our youth, and Leah has done an outstanding job of showing how important setting financial goals can be.”
West Virginia is one of the few states to require its students to take a civics credit to graduate from high school. The class includes a personal finance component in response to a state law adopted in 2005 requiring student be taught how to handle money.
The full-year course covers basics such as how to tell the difference between wants and needs, the effect career choices and education have on earnings and lifestyle and the difference between gross and net income. Students will take civics as seniors, when they are getting ready to vote, buy their first cars, start careers or go to college.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.