Viewpoint: David Lillard, How financial literacy helps Tennesseans repair economic damage caused by COVID-19

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With Tennesseans facing historic disruptions to the economy and employment, financial education becomes even more essential to ensuring a brighter future for our youngest citizens.

David H. Lillard Jr.
Guest Columnist

April is Financial Literacy month. It also marks 12 months of extraordinary challenges for many individuals and families in Tennessee. While the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened public health, it also presented widespread economic hardship and instability for so many.

With Tennesseans facing historic disruptions to the economy and employment, financial education becomes even more essential to ensuring a brighter future for our youngest citizens.  

As your state treasurer, I have worked with our General Assembly, and dedicated businesses and individuals who share our passion, to expand access to high quality financial literacy tools through the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission.

Our goal is to ensure Tennesseans in every county have access to age-appropriate financial education tools, beginning as early as kindergarten. The commission carries out this goal primarily by providing educators with the tools, training and support needed to incorporate financial literacy concepts into their classrooms.    

Additionally, the commission shares free, web-based resources on its website for children and adults to access any time.

With the help of a parent or guardian, children can develop smart money skills from home through the vault – Understanding Money program, an online program where students in grades 3-8 can play games designed to introduce them to critical financial literacy lessons on topics such as income and careers, planning, credit and borrowing, spending and saving, and more!   

Tennessee adults have 24/7 online access to the Financial Empowerment Resource Library. This free online financial education tool contains interactive modules covering financial topics, including budgeting, building emergency savings, credit scores and reports, homeownership, auto loans, checking accounts, and retirement planning.  

This month, as people around the nation celebrate Financial Literacy, I encourage Tennesseans to take a step toward improving your financial security by utilizing these resources at TNFLC.org.

David H. Lillard, Jr. is the Tennessee State Treasurer.