FoolProof: Free Online Program Teaches Children Financial Responsibility

With the current coronavirus outbreak, many Ohioans’ daily lives have been changed as lockdown orders keep individuals at home and off work. With potentially disrupted income and the uncertainty of when businesses will reopen, families find themselves with extra time…and perhaps not much extra money.

FoolProof, sponsored by Directions Credit Union, provides children and young people with a completely free curriculum that is geared toward strengthening financial responsibility.

“Finances are on everyone’s minds right now, which makes this the perfect time to introduce and encourage financial education to our children,” said Barry Shaner, President and CEO of Directions Credit Union. “FoolProof offers courses that are geared towards middle school and high school students [and] focuses on many practical topics.”

The program is seeing increased use in Ohio, as well as across the country, while families spend more time together at home. FoolProof can even be used by adults and their children together to maintain productivity.

“We are finding ourselves talking about finances as a whole family, my middle school student included,” Toledo mother Katie Hahn said. “It’s a great time to start teaching her the value of money and instilling good principles like saving.”

Hahn recently started the FoolProof financial literacy course with her 11-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, who is currently not able to physically attend her junior high school due to the stay-at-home orders.

“I can do fun lessons that teach me about saving my money instead of spending it on things that I don’t really need,” Mackenzie explained. “I always go into Directions with my mom and watch her with the tellers, but now it’s all starting to make sense. The program gives me something fun to do while I’m at home, and I think this will help me as I start to manage my own finances.”

Many local teachers are utilizing FoolProof to supplement their current curriculum with more interactive components. “Teachers have access to all of FoolProof’s 27 modules for the middle school and high school students,” said Shaner. “We’re really proud to partner with Ohio teachers, providing them with best-in-class teaching tools as they adapt for at-home learning.”

Young people preparing to join the workforce after graduation are even able to use FoolProof courses to learn about financial obligations that may come in their near futures, like renting or buying a home, investing, and the dangers of credit cards.

Kayla Sweeny will be graduating from Bowling Green State University in May. She sees herself, and many of her peers, as unprepared in many of these financial topics. “I myself have not come across many opportunities to learn about investing and putting money away in a retirement fund,” said Sweeny. “I hope to find my first teaching job in the coming months, and these are all things that I will need to take into account as I transition into my career.”

To begin free FoolProof courses, students and parents alike can start by visiting http://foolproof.directionscu.org/academy.