Mentoring

When Taking on Fixed Expenses, Adult Guidance is Invaluable

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By Hannah Moore

Dealing with money responsibly is intimidating enough sometimes for adults, let alone the youth. That is why having support from a parent or mature individual is crucial to youngsters being thrust into the grown-up world of financial matters. By age 23, a colleague had built up great credit and a decent income. This lead her to believe she could purchase her first car without much help or guidance. Unfortunately that was not the case and she got hit with thousands of dollars of hidden fees. The message behind this personal anecdote is not a far cry from the lesson learned in columnist Ron Lieber's college bound days, although his story has a bit of a happier ending. His mother had taken him to a private meeting with a professional financial adviser to help figure out expenses and scholarships for school. He says if he hadn't been brought along by his mother to that meeting, his college debt would have been drastically higher and he wouldn't have the career that he does today. In a short summation: be a mentor if you're knowledgeable, and if you're not so knowledgeable or experienced, don't be afraid to ask for help! It could change your life. Andson is here to help. To read the article, click the following link:

Paying For College and Learning a Lesson for Life - New York Times

Forecasting Demand for Andson Services

by Anthony McTaggart

Its the beginning of 2015, and that means that corporations - both for profit and nonprofit - have to report to both shareholders and board members.

I was engaged in a conversation with an engineer at a public corporation recently, where he (and soon, I) was upset about the potential for, and complete lack of forecasting that was going on for production of their product line. Initially, I said to myself "Why aren't they forecasting?" That quickly changed to, "Wait, why aren't WE forecasting?"

Forecasting demand is required for most businesses - but may be overlooked in the nonprofit sector. It’s the analysis of past performance in one’s organization, combined with data that alludes to demand for future products, performance, or markets. In essence, it can be a beautiful symbiosis of art and science, one that usually takes time to hone and eventually master.

Some of us are so busy in the day-to-day that we often don’t plan ahead for what's to come. That can lead to two things: Either we have unsustainable growth that causes unplanned budgetary expenditures, or we get into the "No" mode - where we couldn't possibly grow since we have no time to plan where that funding or partnership might come from. How are we to serve a rapidly growing community if we don't plan for it?

Every window in my office is used as a whiteboard

Going forward for the 2015- 16 school year, we as an organization will be looking at 55% of our programming, in terms of budget and locations, being attributed to pre-existing, in place programming; 25% will come from new funding, meaning new locations. For the other 20%, meaning new business, we will be engaging in real demand forecasting. What this entails, is paying attention to data across the Valley: population growth, new communities, new partner locations (like where a new library or Boys & Girls Club are planned), trends in test scores, and areas of general concern in the community.

This isn't difficult, but it does take meaningful dialogue and time - now is the time to start within your own organizations.

If you think you don't have someone that can do this, you might be pleasantly surprised. Look no further than your Development and Marketing team. Mixed with some programming staff, you can have a forecasting team built and deployed by the end of February! Great Development staff have their ear to the ground and are always identifying new resources. This is learned behavior and can be taught. Great Marketers are used to deploying new collateral quickly, and creating a following. Great programming staff can quickly engage in feasibility analyses to conduct new programs.

Our team is amazing, and we are willing to help! Please contact us if you want to grab a coffee and discuss how to become better at forecasting. It would be a wonderful feeling to know what the next year of partnership holds. We look forward to sustainability and planned growth going forward for both our organization, and yours.

Cheers, Anthony

Gordon McCaw Elementary School

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Gordon McCaw Elementary is one of Andson’s newest sites. Andson has agreed to maintain their funding so students can finish out the year in their after school programs. The school will soon to be transitioning into a magnet program. Not only will they be implementing our after school tutoring, but we will be assisting them in the process of finishing out their original curriculum before they begin the shift into new classroom material. This exciting new material will be centered on STEAM curriculum, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Andson will be at McCaw on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:00 p.m. with seven teachers and one support staff. These CCSD certified instructors will be helping grades 2-5 with homework and will provide small group tutoring. After this academic portion, students are provided a meal by Three Square, and then participate in a self-selected enrichment activity. During these times, the tutors will also be encouraging students to participate in setting goals for themselves to track their progress throughout the tutoring.

Unique to McCaw Elementary is the School of Mines. Current principal, Jennifer Furman-Born took us on a short tour and proudly told us all about it. What started as a paper mache project in 1998 has turned into quite an attraction. Teacher Janet Bremer along with then principal, Janet Dobry shared this vision. Today, with the help of community partnerships, students all over the valley can experience a simulated mine and learn about Nevada mining and history.

For more info on the McCaw School of Mines, please visit www.mccawschoolofmines.org.

February's Tutor of the Month - DeAnn Sheehan

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By Hannah Moore

We are proud to highlight DeAnn Sheehan, a 30 year teacher from Goldfarb Elementary, as our February tutor of the month. If you were to make the transition between lands of lush green to vast lands of the desert, you’d be following a similar route that DeAnn took when she began her journey into education. Between traveling to complete her schooling, while at the same time exploring ancient wonders, DeAnn has experienced many different cultures, which have shaped who she is as an educator. “I especially enjoy visiting ruins and museums. My two favorite ruins that I have visited are Ephesus, Turkey and Pompeii, Italy. I would love to teach overseas when I retire,” she said.

DeAnn is originally from Olympia, Washington. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary/Special Education from Arizona State University, and then continued her studies at UNLV where she received a Master’s Degree in Education Administration. She has a son who attends UNLV and a lovely canine furry friend. DeAnn offers heartfelt advice to her students, gained from years of experience: “Work hard to accomplish your dreams!” DeAnn is an asset to be sought after for sure and fortunately her journey brought her to Andson!

January’s Tutor of the Month - Jessica Webb

If you have to squint while reading this, we understand. Jessica Webb’s megawatt smile is quite blinding. In fact, Ellen Bordinhao can’t remember ever seeing Jessica without it. “Jessica has never missed a day's work. She is a very thoughtful and caring individual, and that is why she is our Tutor of the Month!” said Bordinhao, Andson’s Academic Developer and former Principal of Elaine Wynn Elementary School. It is Jessica’s calm demeanor that helps her teach severely emotionally challenged high school students at Cimarron High. She has worked for CCSD for 7 years as a substitute teacher and is now a Special Education teacher. Jessica received her Bachelors Degree from Michigan State University and her Masters in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Jessica moved to Las Vegas in 2007 from Detroit, Michigan, with her three children, now 9, 12, and 15 years old. “My children are my pride and joy!” she said. Jessica is active in her church, including the children's ministry, drama productions, and other youth activities. In between church functions, roller skating, and catching flicks with her children, Jessica still gives her precious time to others. She started as a tutor at Agassi Boys and Girls Club, running the Andson program at that location, and currently tutors at one of our Safekey sites, Staton Elementary School. “I have enjoyed working with Andson for the past two years and find it very rewarding to work with an organization with such purpose and vision. Every time I hear Ms. Sonia's story, it inspires me personally and professionally to never give up. I look forward to the expansion and growth in the years to come.”

With great tutors like Jessica Webb, we look forward to that too.

December's Tutor of the Month - Teresa Weir

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We are thrilled to honor December’s Tutor of the Month, Teresa Weir. Teresa hails from northern Alabama. After graduating college, she accepted a teaching job in Florida, where she worked for 25 years. It was Teresa’s father who inspired her to become a teacher. He was a biochemistry professor at a university and she would accompany him to his classroom on weekends. Her imagination ran away with her as she played with his lab equipment, pretending she had an audience. To this day, science is Teresa’s favorite subject.

We caught up with Teresa at Sunrise Library where Andson provides homework help and tutoring four days per week. The children gravitate toward her and really take in what she is offering them. “I think the tutoring program is invaluable, helping students get up to speed, gain confidence in learning, engage more effectively, and benefit from improved grades.“ she said, “I believe the tutors at Andson help students reach their full potential academically.”

Teresa is currently the Art Specialist at Sue Morrow Elementary School in Henderson. With hobbies in painting and ceramics and a love for science, what can’t Teresa do?

We are happy to have you, Teresa. Thank you for your dedication!

Andson Academics Aides: How Our Youth Pay it Forward

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by Nevena Cvijetic

Andson strives to empower students through education. There’s no better way to fulfill that mission than to hire high school students to assist our CCSD certified tutors! Ambitious high school students from all around the valley are working for Andson as Aides to help children with their homework. Andson gives these students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and empowers them to be great. At Lied Memorial Boys and Girls Club (BGC), there are four students from Clark High School making a positive impact in the lives of the BGC members. Three of these students, Chris Luu, Shannen Tan, and Miriam Villedis, are in the Teacher Education Academy at Clark High (TEACH). They bring their knowledge about classroom management, discipline, and creating interactive and engaging learning activities to Lied BGC, where they can implement what they’ve learned. The TEACH program trains high schools students to become efficient teachers in the future – they learn about communication, brain development, diverse ways of learning, curriculum and boundaries between education and the students, and methods and management of education. It’s wonderful to have positive young people our BGC students can look up to. The fourth student, Kevin Rodas, is part of the Clark High School Navy Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC). He uses his leadership training and math skills to assist students with their homework and areas of academics they are struggling in. We are proud to have such high-achieving high school students as part of our team!

November’s Tutor of the Month - Kimberly Sword

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Andson has the best tutors. We really do. And no one epitomizes that more than Kim Sword. Kim comes from Cleveland, Ohio, although having a dad in the Air Force took her all over. “Growing up as a “military brat”, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world and experience so many things. As a result, I strive to bring a world of experiences to my young learners,” she says. Teaching is a second career for Kimberly, her first being in corporate management. Kimberly currently works part time for Mad Science and teaches at Roundy Elementary School. Having a passion for young learners, Kim says, “I want math and science to come alive. I want stories to leap off the pages. I want kids to be excited and challenged by every learning opportunity.” There is no doubt that Kimberly is accomplishing these goals. Just take a look at the photos included!

Kimberly lives with her husband, two children, three dogs, two bunnies, and her many fish in Las Vegas. Kim, the kids are so lucky to have you, as are we!

SPOTLIGHT SITE - St. Jude's Ranch for Children

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November's Spotlight Site is St Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, NV. We chose St. Jude'sdue to their strong commitment to our community and the dedication of their hard-working staff. St Jude’s Ranch is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe haven for children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and homelessness. Children arrive at St. Jude’s struggling to keep up with their peers in school and are sometimes as much as two years behind where they should be academically. Andson was grateful for the opportunity to partner with St Jude’s Ranch and this is what Christine Spadafor, St Jude’s Ranch CEO, had to say about Andson: “Our partnership with the Andson Organization has miraculously helped these children catch up and be competitive in school, and be able to stand toe to toe with their peers academically. With Andson, they have consistent tutors who work closely with the school system, and seeing the same people week after week in helping to reestablish that trust, only furthers help enhance their success in school. Prior to the Ranch’s partnership with Andson, we struggled to find a consistent, effective tutoring program for our children, and Andson is the perfect partner for us.”

To see more, please watch the short video below:

Andson gets big in Texas

It's always a dilemma - the work we do in Financial Literacy is great, why not take it national? Our answer is usually "No," followed by a statement on how you would lose the aspect of mentoring, the quality will be diminished, curriculum less effective etc. But what if we were approached by a group that was willing to recreate the culture of mentorship, and not attempt to use volunteers or one-time teachers for a lesson?

We have had the amazing opportunity of licensing our curriculum to a passionate group of educators. The Comal Independent School District approached Andson to use the Andson Money Curriculum at the Fourth Grade Level for 18 schools. (Aside - how in the world would Andson be known in Texas, you ask? The introduction was made by way of friends at St. Jude's Ranch for Children - they operate campuses both in Boulder City, NV and San Antonio, Texas. Without The Ranch, we would have not been prompted to visit the Lone Star State). Andson co-branded and developed the materials, lessons and presentations to work for the demographic of Comal ISD - a district roughly the size of New Jersey.

What we've realized however is that our goal of supporting Southern Nevada doesn't mean our products and services just stay in Southern Nevada.

Look at this opportunity: First, there is a licensing cost - which means that Andson can have a stream of revenue that goes back to help us develop further products and services; Second, with the right partner, our commitment to mentorship and small, strong quality programs can continue. Comal goes above and beyond to pick the best instructors possible for our curriculum - we went down in early October to train 17 instructors. Some were long time substitutes that have been assigned to a particular school (and know that school's students well), some worked for the local Communities in Schools program, two were even school principals. Needless to say we were able to checkmark the criterion for passion.

Thirdly, and most importantly is the feedback and development opportunity. We have just opened our curriculum up to a feedback loop including 1,250 new students - something that would take a massive staff on Andson's part to facilitate locally. Comal ISD and Andson will continue expanding till we are able to blanket the Elementary level, hopefully developing a feeder alignment and carry these students through their entire schooling with targeted lesson on Financial Literacy.

Exposing our curriculum to new bodies of students means we can move exponentially faster to make our products and services even stronger - nearly impossible to match solely with local staff. Andson, for example, will monitor the Pre and Post Test assessments and will have access to feedback on Parental Engagement via homework assignments. These pieces will go back into Research and Development here locally, and then get rolled out to any licensees we may have in the future.

This may be small win for other organizations that are built with revenues and licensing in mind. But for Andson, the idea that we can build a culture and climate in Financial Education from 2000 miles away, and retain some control, is an empowering concept. We are so excited to open up the doors for licensing and for our new counterparts in the Lone Star State.

Thanks to our friends at St. Jude's Ranch for making the connections, and we hope that Andson will get as big as everything else in Texas!

And of course, if interested in licensing, feel free to contact us via the website - we'd love to explore a new relationship.

More locations and new initiatives for the new school year

We are excited to report that Andson's Homework Help and Tutoring program has kicked off another year with more locations and some new initiatives! We are on track to have an estimated 1,200 students at 15 sites (anticipated by the end of this year) receiving Homework Help and approximately 500 students receiving small group tutoring assistance. Over the past two years we have done lots of things right. We have put close to 1,000 students on a path to success, benefitting from our free Homework Help and tutoring programs. We have partnered with amazing organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, St. Jude's Ranch for Children, Communities In Schools and After School All Stars. Our tutored students improve their performance an average of one to two grade levels in all academic areas! We have lots to be proud of!

We want to do even better! Providing meaningful and much needed academic support to more students in interesting and individualized ways is always the goal. Based on feedback from parents, tutors and community partners, we have identified two major areas of improvement this year:

1) Homework Help activities will be more fun, engaging and productive. We are really structuring our locations and separating kids by grade and ability levels while offering incentives and prizes to those who complete their homework correctly. We are providing new and better books and will be introducing educational games as a way to instill a lifelong love of learning.

2) Tutoring groups will be smaller, allowing Andson tutors to really hone in on student needs and develop Individualized Learning Plans. This personalized approach to student needs along with a new system of periodic academic assessments, progress monitoring and benchmarking will help assure that no child falls behind in school.

Overall, at this early stage in the school year, our Tutors and staff are busily working hand in hand to assess, monitor and track student progress. Getting to know our students has been a blast. Stay tuned for more updates…

 

Are we the new Life Coach for kids?

When we go out and promote Andson to a possible partner or client (aka parents and kids) we try to convey the dynamic of mentorship in all our activities. The reason we are so good at what we do is because there is no off-the-shelf program for our youth - we must connect with them in 2013 and meet them where they're at.  

That said, more and more parents (and adults in general) are extremely aware of the lack of life skills that our students and youth receive these days. It's enough to spark the conversation of where these skills can be best curated - home or school, parents or teachers. That's a different article entirely, however.

 

What I am realizing more and more is that Andson, through providing academic support and performance programs, financial literacy programs etc., isn't just about facilitating curriculum - it's about motivation of young people through our passion.

 

What we're building here for Southern Nevada is a whole lot more than any program. I'm starting to feel that we are life coaches for K-12. That is, we can inspire, motivate, reward and see how many of the 4,000 students we've impacted this past year succeed through the seeds we plant.

 

Just look at what we're doing at the Back 2 Class Bash with Raising Canes and the TEAching stand. Yes, it's a beta program - this is the first run at it. We're not looking at this simply as an entrepreneurial lesson, however. Andson is teaching the concept of volunteerism and taking the money smarts you learn through business back to your own personal finances. This lesson is geared toward middle schoolers to learn through immersion.

 

Whether it's receiving a letter that a high school student is now teaching their mother about banking, or having an elementary student run into one of our tutoring locations to show us their report card, our programs are creating an element of motivation in young people that really parodies what you see out of these adult life coaching programs.

 

This is a service economy, and we certainly provide a service. Through our continuing passion, however, we are providing more than any single program ever can.

Learn, Act, Learn - Financial Literacy gets rethought for High School Students

Andson Academics has become our flagship service - a tutoring program that scales well, serves our communities, and creates partnerships and collective impact. The Academic Assistance model is constantly attended to - we take pride in the tweaks that make the program better and better.  

That said, Financial Literacy has really taken off as a core component of what we do here at Andson. This past year was absolutely pivotal in the way we view and develop our Financial Literacy curriculums.  Nearly 2,000 unique students in 2012-2013 have already been directly reached by our Financial Literacy programming.

 

What we learned from the Piggybank Project at Bracken Elementary was that it's not about just one workshop of programming - not a five to eight week period. Rather, Andson's role in 2013 is to carry a student through multiple iterations of curicula. We start at the Kindergarten grade level and work our way through 5th grade. It was an amazing program that will really prove its effectiveness as we see this year's 1st graders all the way through their elementary graduation.

 

So, we started thinking, how can we accomplish the same at the High School level? How do we start with tiered curriculum, one that strengthens impact with every year until graduation?

 

What we've developed is a new way of looking at our high school students' needs. This is no longer a few weeks of interaction - this is about implementation over 3+ years.

 

At the Sophomore level, we explain the importance of grades, volunteerism in our community, and understanding needs vs. wants.

 

At the Junior level, we begin to plant the seed of the importance of education on future earning potential, and how to creatively fund your college education.

 

At the Senior level - we give them the full Andson curriculum, working with them for a greater understanding of personal finance.

What we estimate is that nearly half of the students we start with, we get to work with in their Senior year. For the others (due to transiency rate, etc) they will have seeds planted that they would not have otherwise experienced. This model is a complete work in progress - we've written some grant requests and hope to start this with Communities in Schools in the 2013-14 school year at Chaparral High Sschool.

Andson is committed to the idea of "Learn, Act, Learn" - no two schools or years should ever be exactly alike. Our materials have always, and will always cater to the student. This is how we personally can guarantee the greatest possible impact through our Financial Literacy workshops.

600 Desert Oasis High School Seniors' Debt Workshop

Desert Oasis Highschool, Check.Andson lesson built on Debt, Check. 600 High Schoolers, Check (gulp). 1 Day. (Wow!)

 

We had the opportunity April 23rd to teach 6 sessions to Desert Oasis Seniors on Debt, Credit, and Creative Funding of College education.

 

While this was a bit different for Andson, it was an awesome day! Not only were students informed on the concept of interest rates, predatory lending, and to "think outside the box" in regards to funding college, but we also had 5 individual students looking for mentoring relationships through our program.

 

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This was one of those days that put a smile on our faces - not only can we make a positive impact on so many students in one day, we can engage with a handful of students to achieve short-term and long-term goals through budgeting and planning.

 

Here is the lesson we taught:

 

Thanks to Desert Oasis for having us. Word is, they want our whole course for seniors next year.

Never too early to teach children financial resposibility

As we continue to focus our efforts on behavioral finance, we like sharing stories that are worth reading and can help us put into perspective the real challenge of financial literacy. The following article, written as a letter to parents, not only provides insight on how to teach children financial responsibility at various ages, but it also reiterates the importance of early education and parent engagement. Parents and culture will definitely influence the way children understand money and the habits they will develop and continue into adulthood.

Dear Parents,

The long-term key to improving America's overall financial literacy quotient is to get to the kids. What's important is to establish good financial behaviors early because those behaviors will carry over to adulthood. As a father of four, and grandfather of nine, I've seen it work firsthand. Start early, insist on consistency in behaviors, and set a good example. Monitor your saver's progress and celebrate the successes. With that mantra, here's how to get started:

When kids can walk, it's time to start saving. Establish the first behavior of saving by teaching your child to drop coins in a piggy bank or a jar. Explain the meaning of the word save.

Show the money. Periodically, show the child that consistent saving adds up by regularly tallying up your savings.

Take it to the bank. Make a ceremony of taking the child to the bank to deposit the jar of money. Teach them that the bank will give them money (interest) to "store their money."

If there is an allowance, it's time to budget by putting savings first. No matter what the size of the allowance is, break it down between what they can spend, and what they have to save. Note: this may be your first financial "negotiation" with your child - start with saving 50%, and settle for 25%.

The first large purchase. As your child ages, he or she will inevitably want to spend their entire savings - on one item. The answer is "no." Modify budget into more line items - discretionary spending, mandatory saving, and "saving for the large item." This is where the behavior of "buying within means" is established.

"But, I want it now..." This may be the time to develop a new financial concept - borrowing money. That's okay as long as the rules are set, and the "borrower" adheres to them. This is where the behavior of "borrowing within means" is established.

"Can I have a credit card?" Response: No, it's too early. We're sticking to the plan above. However, let me teach you about credit cards - after the "eye roll," stick to your game plan.

"My friends have credit and debit cards." Response: I'm happy for them. We're sticking to our financial plan, and here's why. In my own experience, my children were grateful for instilling financial responsibility at a young age. Start early, consistency, monitor progress, and celebrate success - I'm convinced that's the formula for increasing America's financial literacy quotient many times over. Get to the kids.

Proud Grandfather, Carl George, CPA

Note: This letter first appeared as an e-Wealth Coach article from America Saves. Carl George is the Senior Executive Partner at Clifton Gunderson LLP, a national CPA firm; past Chairman of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission of the AICPA, www.360financialliteracy.org and www.feedthepig.org; and the proud grandfather of 9.

Behavioral Finance and Andson - worksheets alone don't work

A statistics professor in my MBA program made a statement on the first day of class, "I can train you how to be a $10 calculator, or I can train you how to think."  Obviously, gone are the days of living without smart phones, auto-correct and calculators.

 

So why are we still teaching personal finance as textbook terms and definitions?  Why are we spending time on the things that students will inevitably forget; more importantly the things that they can easily look up on their phones? (Please Note: We do worry about many students' capability to spell and do simple math, but that's why we created Andson Academics).

 

We need to teach them that knowledge equals power. When faced with questions about IRA accounts, APRs or the details of an annuity, do some research on Google, instead of believing the salesman.  We need to be able to instill that delayed gratification and PYF (pay yourself first) gives them spending choices and spending power.

 

Behavioral Finance is the term that is gaining ever-so-much momentum right now in this field.  That is, instead of teaching a student about textbook definitions, let's teach them how to think about finance.

 

  • What should I be leery of?
  • When does an interest rate raise a red-flag?
  • What are the fees that will be involved?
  • Where can I go for help outside of a payday loan?

 

All of these are examples of teaching young people how to think about their money.  Time Business & Money has a great article right now on the concept of changing behaviors instead of just teaching facts.  We couldn't agree more and in fact pride ourselves and our programs on providing more than just a workbook or worksheet.

 

Roth, who runs the infamous blog Get Rich Slowly admits that he himself learned all the "basic financial literacy," in his senior year of high school, but was no better because of it.

 

Roth goes on to say that personal finance is something internal for most people - though for many there is definitely a cycle of poverty they need to overcome.  What needs to be taught is that in order to make a change, it needs to happen within us.  Otherwise it's just like a fad diet - you always end up back at square one.

 

I myself cannot begin to count the amount of times that we see young people that just don't want to end up in the same debtor situations they've seen friends or family end up in.  Many times that's enough and it works.  More often than not though, one is the sum of their surroundings; so bringing a fresh way of thinking and perspective into the classroom is more important than ever.

 

Let's continue with a mission to change behavior in our students, and not just make them calculators and dictionaries when it comes to personal finance.

 

Sources:

Time Business & Money

http://business.time.com/2013/03/11/why-financial-literacy-fails/

JD Roth

http://business.time.com/author/jdroth/

Get Rich Slowly

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

Silver State Schools Credit Union College Scholarships!

Are you a senior at a Nevada High School looking for college scholarships? Deadlines are coming up pretty fast but you can still apply for one of the six college scholarships that Silver State Schools Credit Union is offering. Be one of the six lucky students who will receive a $2,000 one-year scholarship that is renewable to up to four years. The deadline is March 16, 2013. Do not wait until the last minute to take advantage of this opportunity. To fill out an application, visit the Silver State Schools Credit Union website: http://www.silverstatecu.com/news/news-details.aspx?newsid=36

Got Homework?

We advocate the importance of homework in the process of improving academic achievement. Arguments, in favor of homework, fall into one of three categories: practice, preparation, or extension. Practice helps students retain the knowledge being taught during the class. As in real life, people need practice in order to get better at the things they do for a living, Just think about football players, musicians, actors, surgeons etc.  The learning skills and study habits gained through homework prepare students for higher education and the challenges of knowledge-based society - with knowledge comes innovation and innovation is the key to survive in today’s world.  Homework is an extension of the classroom experience that introduces children to the "adult" world of priorities, time management, and deadlines. Homework can also be an extension of learning at home, which allows parents to be involved.

That is precisely one argument against homework. The disparity between students from a middle-class background (study space, computer, internet access and parents who have the time and skills to help) and those students from disadvantaged backgrounds who simply don’t have the support and resources they need to complete their homework. Anti-homework advocates, such as French President Francois Hollande, insist rich kids benefit more from homework than poor kids do – that might be true, even more when the gap becomes bigger as disadvantaged students start falling behind. But getting rid of homework is not going to solve the problem.

A solution would be to lengthen the school day, but in times of budget cuts and overcrowded classrooms, after-school programs are providing the time for children to complete their homework once the school day is over. We, at the Andson Organization, are committed to helping students reach their full potential regardless of economic background, and we are doing it through our Homework Help & Tutoring program. Homework comes before playtime, so we are teaching kids that responsibilities come first. Love of learning and perseverance are values we hope to instill in hundreds of students across the Valley.  Want to know how we are doing this? Come join us for our Faces of the Future Breakfast on Tuesday, February 26 at 8 am at the Boys & Girls Club in Southern Highlands.

Here are some tips for teachers and parents...

"Teachers Homework Policy"  December 28, 2012

"Five Hot Homework Tips for Parents" January 31, 2013

A very different group takes over the Strip - NV DECA.

On Monday, February 11, I went to judge the Nevada DECA Competition at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.  Not knowing much about DECA, I had no idea that this day would mean as much to me as it did to the students. DECA is an organization that is co-curricular - meaning they are in the classrooms (like us).

 

 

 

DECA has core areas such as

  • Civic Responsibility
  • Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Understanding of Free Enterprise.

Did I mention these were High School students?  Some were only Sophomores!  The day was amazing.  These students had 10 minutes to prep their case, and come present it to one of the hundreds of judges that volunteered that day to facilitate the competition.

Students I judged competed in areas such as:

  • Financial Repercussion of showrooms vs. trade shows, regarding startup remodeling company
  • Financial Benefits of a stock buyback program for a security company
  • Marketing and Research for the rebranding of a boutique hotel chain

These were mock situations, of course, but the energy and enthusiasm was overwhelming.  Many thanks to Nevada DECA for doing the amazing work of preparing young people for the adult/business world.  It inspires me to keep Andson innovative, and not to forget our mission:  empowering through education.  Remember, if education is about fun and opportunities, STUDENTS PARTICIPATE!

 

Image from Nevada Deca website

Nevada DECA

Seeking Volunteers Who Are Willing To Be The Change!

Arun Ghandi commented about his grandfather's most famous saying "you must be the change you want to see in the world" - he said this when he was speaking after prayer service and he mentioned this because people kept saying to him that the world has to change for us to change. He said, "No, the world will not change if we don't change." So we have to make the beginning ourselves. It has always been human nature to blame someone else for everything that is happening. It's never us. We are never at fault. And he tried to make us realize that we are just as much at fault as anybody else. Unless we change ourselves, and help people around us change nobody will change because everybody will just be sitting around waiting for change to happen.

We at the Andson Organization are working hard to change the odds for children and young adults. We want to be the change and we would love to have you join us! Our Homework Help & Tutoring Program is providing mentoring and academic assistance to hundreds of students across the Valley.  Many of these children are waiting for just one caring adult or mentor to step in to help them beat the odds. Along with us, YOU have the chance to be that adult for a child in our community – we are looking for caring individuals who are willing to donate their time and talents as a volunteer! If you are ready to BE the change, please visit United Way of Southern Nevada's Volunteer Center and let us know you want to join us.

Together, we can change the odds so all children are prepared to succeed in school and in life.