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Financial literacy is a key for life success says bank.

COURTESY PHOTO - Centennial High School students play a game testing their financial saavy with the help of Washignton Federal executives. Students at Centennial High School have gained financial literacy skills thanks to an online course sponsored at the school by the regional bank, Washington Federal.

Students who participated in the Financial Scholars program got to chat with Washington Federal executives Tuesday, March 14.

They also received certificates of participation in the program during a recognition ceremony.

Ben Petersen, a math teacher at Centennial, said the online course is part of the high school's consumer and financial math class. About 180 kids, mostly seniors, participated.

"Teaching kids about money has a great impact on their future," maintains the National Financial Education Council, a company that provides teaching materials for financial literacy. "Grasping even the most basic lessons gets students considering available options before making important monetary decisions; in turn, this careful consideration may help them avoid personal debt and improve their chances of achieving financial security."

COURTESY PHOTO - A Washington Federal executives talks money with Cententennial High School students. The web-based program uses simulations, avatars and gaming to bring complex financial concepts to life for the young, digitally-oriented generation. The high school course offers more than six hours of programming, with 10 units on a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k's and other key concepts.

"The videos are engaging and there is a quiz at the end of each chapter that gives me the feedback on a students progress," Petersen said.

Peterson thinks financial literacy is important for the students.

"The financial literacy content is one of those life skills that most people learn through experience and financial mistakes. The benefit to teaching seniors is that they will have to knowledge to avoid common pitfalls," he said. "The students usually are surprised by how much the financial system takes advantage of those who are uninformed and those who are knowledgeable can take advantage of the system."

The bank partnered with Washington D.C.-based EverFi Inc. to bring the financial literacy program to Centennial at no cost to the schools or the taxpayer.

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