Band promotes financial literacy

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gooding Band brought their Financial Literacy Tour to the Career and Technical Education Program at Nansemond River High School. Students from all grade levels had the opportunity to attend the concert.

The Gooding Band uses the power of a live rock performance and the band’s own personal story to inspire young people with lessons of finance and discipline. Through a concert, multimedia presentation and talkback, they discussed predatory lending, the danger of credit card debt, saving early and looking to students’ own communities for support and mentorship, while exposing the myth of rock stars, athletes and actors who sell the false image of overnight success.

Students who do not receive this message early often drop out of college and return to the same cycle of financial irresponsibility as their parents. Children from lower income households and un­banked families are especially at risk. S. Michele Duncan, marketing teacher, said students need role models to inspire them about budgeting and the dangers of payday loans.

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The band played a few high-energy songs, then talked about important financial topics including compound interest, savings and credit scores. The students had an opportunity to learn about money from someone not wearing a suit.

Dressed in black leather jackets and ripped jeans, the band typically leads an assembly at the beginning of the school day. Students are told they’ll be learning about financial literacy. But they are often surprised by the concert atmosphere in the school auditorium — complete with big speakers and lighting.

While the presentation is brief, it might be the first time a student hears about some of the personal-finance concepts. The band showed students images of entertainers and athletes who made millions but went bankrupt. For some students, this debunks the myth that money will solve all problems. The band explains that unless students are stewards of their money — say, by socking away a portion of their earnings — they won’t get ahead no matter how much they make.

After the presentation, the band answered questions from individual students, gave out CDs and autographed posters of the band for students.