UNION — State Treasurer Curtis Loftis visited Foster Park Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon to donate iPads to the school and speak to the student council about financial literacy.
The Foster Park Elementary Student Council is made up of officers and class representatives in grades 3-5. Council members were just elected at the end of October. At the first meeting, the group discussed their job responsibilities, and their second meeting on Wednesday included a visit from Loftis.
Loftis donated iPads to the school for a mini lab in the school library. Principal Barbara Palmer said the iPads will be used for small groups in the classroom to allow students to do research and work with educational applications.
“We’re excited, and of course the kids love anything related to technology,” Palmer said.
FPES currently has an iPad lab with 25 iPads, and all classroom teachers have an iPad as well. Palmer said the school acquired those iPads through Title One funding. She said classes often need the lab at the same time, and this new mini lab will be convenient in those cases. Palmer said all the students enjoy learning with technology.
“Kids love that stuff; they can relate to it,” she said, telling the story of a young special needs student who recently learned by working with an iPad.
Loftis said the iPads include cards which will allow teachers to load numerous financial literacy games, including fantasy football, house design, and life adventure games.
Loftis also spoke to the student council members about the importance of financial literacy. The students were required to go back to their classrooms and talk to their classes about what they learned.
Each student present received a gift bag including notepads, pencils, pencil sharpeners, highlighters, and a piggy bank. Loftis told students they should name their pigs and begin feeding them.
He asked students if they were saving money, and if so, what items they had in mind. Popular answers included “college” and “a car.”
“In order to be a successful saver, you have to have a goal,” Loftis said. “Figure out how much those things cost and how much you need to save each week.”
Loftis talked with the students about the difference between wants and needs, as well as goals and plans.
“When you become an adult, money means you have choices,” Loftis said, explaining that money must be managed in order to have options.
“Then, you get to help other people,” Loftis said, mentioning donations to churches or synagogues, charities, hospitals and schools.
“When you take care of yourself, you get to help others,” he said.
Loftis’ visit was part of his “Log on to Financial Literacy” tour. The tour is an effort to encourage students to visit the State Treasurer’s website for fun games and interactive information they can use to develop important financial skills. The link to this page is www.treasurer.sc.gov/citizens/for-kids/