Gates Chili high schoolers teach financial literacy lessons to elementary students

GATES, N.Y. High school students in Gates Chili got out from behind their desks Tuesday to get in front of the classroom.

They were teaching elementary students how to manage their money. The high schoolers got to explore a career path in education and the kids at Paul Road Elementary got a lesson on their personal finances. These students are a part of the Junior Achievement program at the Gates Chili Central School District.

The program is an advanced economics course for high school students. The students lead lessons for students in grades 3 to 5. The idea is to expose them to information about financial literacy early, while also helping high school students deepen their understanding of it.

Some of the early lessons for students include describing goods and services, applying entrepreneurship lessons to their daily habits and money management. One high school student says these are valuable lessons for younger kids and also help older students aspire to become teachers.

“When I present my information to them, they are making connections,” said high school senior Alaya Stewart. “They raise their hand and they say, ‘Oh I have a connection’ and I love it because it creates a stronger bond.”

The school district estimates it will need to hire about 100 teachers in the next five years and perhaps some of the students will be among them.