VantageOne Credit Union financial ability liaison Kristine Lidstone has been teaching financial literacy to Vernon high school students. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon students get course in financial literacy

Credit union liaison teaches students about everything financial to help them plan their futures

A group of Grade 12 students at Vernon Secondary School can credit a local financial ability liaison for helping to learn about credit.

Kristine Lidstone with VantageOne Credit Union spoke to three groups of graduating students about financial literacy, including credit.

“Financial literacy is everything to do with money. Any part of your life, any dreams, any goals, is going to involve finances in some way, shape or form.”

In a 45-minute presentation, Lidstone taught the students about good credit vs bad credit; tax free saving accounts; registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), budgeting – “telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went,” said Lidstone – car loans, protecting your bank card and to avoid using standalone ATM machines who charge up to $3.75 per withdrawal along with charges from the student’s own financial institution.

READ MORE: VantageOne Credit Union expands

“I educate people from kindergarten to seniors on how money affects their lives, how to protect themselves from fraud, and I cater the presentations to the group that I am presenting to,” said Lidstone, who said the Grade 12 classes are being “well received.”

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and now it’s more recognized with it becoming part of the (Grade 12) curriculum.”

Lidstone’s presentations are part of a new provincewide Grade 12 course called Career Life Connections, which has replaced the Graduation Transitions (GT).

“It’s essentially an online course with face-to-face meetings,” said Dmitri Zebroff, career education teacher at VSS. “Students take these classes and once every two weeks they have a face-to-face meeting with somebody from the community. It’s nice to get an expert in that’s very knowledgable in a certain area and give the kids a different voice.”

Part of CLC will include the students doing a major, in-depth, open-ended project called the Capstone Project, which is the major part of the course.


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