Independent Herald: Pineville Middle to host event focusing on finances

bhughesProgram updates

Originally published in the Independent Herald on December 4, 2015.

Pineville Middle School is hosting a free workshop on Thursday, December 10, to help eighth grade students and their families learn about budgeting, finances and paying for college. The event is sponsored by West Virginia GEAR UP, a federally funded program to help students pursue some form of education and training beyond high school.

Part of the workshop will occur during the school day. During the regular school day, all eighth grade students will participate in a presentation called “The Reality Store,” which helps students understand the budgeting process and the financial returns of various career options. Staff members from Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will also provide a presentation on the financial investment and benefits of pursuing a college education.

After school, students will provide an overview of what they have learned about budgeting and investing and representatives from the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office, Concord University and Bluefield State College will discuss saving for college and applying for financial aid. Parents and family members are encourage to attend all activities including those occurring during the school day. Family members may also stop by for any portion of the day’s events. A full schedule is included below.

Workshop: Financial Planning for College
Thursday, December 10

1:30 p.m. – “Reality Store” program
3:00 p.m. – Financial awareness presentation from Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
4:00 p.m. – Presentation from students
5:00 p.m. – SMART 529 college savings presentation from the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office
5:15 p.m. – College 101 presentation from Concord University
5:30 p.m. – Scholarships and grants presentation from Bluefield State College
5:45 p.m. – Question and answer session; refreshments

“Financial planning is an important part of preparing our students for success in the future,” Katie Williamson, the school counselor at Pineville Middle School, said. “Saving for college, choosing careers that align with students’ financial goals and understanding the financial resources, such as scholarships and grants, to help cover the costs of higher education can make a huge difference in families’ quality of life. Plus, teaching students financial responsibility will help them become better citizens and benefit our community.”

West Virginia GEAR UP is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. The program provides college planning services to students in ten West Virginia counties. To learn more about West Virginia GEAR UP, visit