FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2006
Visa USA and NFL Star London Fletcher-Baker of the Buffalo Bills Teach Buffalo Area Students How to Tackle Their Financial Futures
Interactive "Financial Football" Game and Program Helps Amherst Central High School Students Cross Real-Life Money Goal Line
Amherst, NY – October 3, 2006 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, today, Visa USA, the NFL and PLAYERS INC have teamed up with NFL star London Fletcher-Baker of the Buffalo Bills to engage Buffalo area students in a different kind of football game - one that prepares them to become fiscally fit adults. Called "Financial Football," this animated, money management computer game is the centerpiece of a 17-city Visa/NFL initiative to promote youth financial literacy around the country.
"Learning the fundamentals of money management at an early age gives young people a real advantage in meeting their own financial goals," said London Fletcher-Baker to a room full of students and teachers at Amherst Central High School. "Managing money and finances is a vital life skill, and one that is best taught, and learned, before high school graduation."
Huddled in the Amherst Central High School Media Center, London Fletcher-Baker coached the "home team" comprised of half the students, while Holly DeMarco, Career and Technical Education Department Chair, Amherst Central High School, headed up the "visiting team." Together, the two engaged students in "Financial Football." The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and its players, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s free, award-winning money management program.
"Financial Football" combines the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a team needs to answer questions correctly. And, just like in the NFL, penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.
"It is so critical for young people to learn smart money management skills because it is one of the basic building blocks for success in today's competitive and changing world," said U.S. Representative Thomas Reynolds (R-26-NY), who also co-sponsored and attended today’s event. "I am pleased that students here at Amherst Central High School will be able to use the valuable resources included in the Practical Money Skills for Life Program," added Reynolds.
Today’s event is the fourth stop of this educational campaign. Last year was the inaugural season for this national effort between Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC to get students engaged and excited about their financial futures. In addition to being a game, this year "Financial Football" is also a one week, five part financial literacy program designed for high school instruction.
"Equipping our nation’s youth with a roadmap to financial freedom and success really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the community and government," said JoAnn Balazs, principal, Amherst Central High School. "By working together, we are preparing them to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime."
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.PracticalMoneySkills.com), a comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese – that teaches young adults personal finance skills.
"Visa is proud of its long standing commitment to financial education and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from London Fletcher-Baker," said Rhonda Bentz, vice president, Visa USA. "We take great pride in our NFL sponsorship, which is enabling us to work with so many talented players to give students the tools, resources and encouragement they need to become more financially literate."
This free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten-college) mapped to their state education requirements. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system — members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,369 member financial institutions, more than 500 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. VisaNet, Visa's global processing system and the world’s largest financial network, processes transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources — anytime, anywhere, anyway.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Romney Willson (ext. 118) or Steve Burke (ext. 108) at (703) 683-5004.
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