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School of the Week: Dodge County Middle

Seventh and eighth graders are learning how to manage their money in the school's finance class

DODGE COUNTY, Ga. — It's never too early to start learning how to manage your money and a Central Georgia middle school is teaching students how to keep change in their pockets.

Dodge County Middle School math teachers are trying to give students the keys to financial success. Brooke Villegas started teaching the finance class last year.

"Most kids do not know that there's a difference between credit and debit cards," she said. "They learn what interest rate is, a credit score, just basic survival skills that they would use in real life."

After filing for bankruptcy in the late 1980s, financial guru Dave Ramsey created a program to educate young people on good financial habits.

Brynlie Williams and Kamorion Smith find it helpful.

"You learn budgeting, how to save and spend your money wisely. You learn a lot of things. Entrepreneurs, they can become billionaires really easily," said Williams.

"Save money for emergency funds and save up cash," Smith said.

Denise Carter, who owns a tax and accounting business in Dodge County, bought the program and course materials for the school to offer as an elective course. 

Villegas says the earlier they learn about financial responsibility, the better.

"Especially as middle schoolers. They live for the day and they don't think about the future, and when you have this class, they have the opportunity to explore and say, 'Hey I need to start saving and prepare for that future,'" she said.

They offer the course to 7th and 8th graders. There's about 25 students in each class.


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