NJ School shows students how to open a franchise

May 31, 2011 2:29:08 PM PDT
These students, at Pompton Lakes High School, were pitching the idea of a franchise for an ice cream shop in town.

"The competition in Pompton is Curly's Ice Cream, and Ice Cream Station and Dunkin Donuts."

How to research and plan for a retail franchise was part of the financial literacy course.

"There's not any in a 10 mile radius of Pompton Lakes, so I figured if we brought one in, it would be enjoyable to the people," student Teresa Caldarone said.

"This class is now a part of the Pompton Lakes High School effort to meet the new requirement, by the New Jersey Department of Education, that all high school students receive at least one semester of financial literacy training," said business teacher Carol Helm.

But Helm and fellow teacher Lori Conte already had a financial literacy program in place, based on years of observing the problems their graduates were having.

"They're not able to use a checking account, their budget, they run into terrible credit problems because they don't understand the risks of credit," said Conte.

The state does not require financial literacy before 11th grade, but at Pompton Lakes, they start with freshman.

"I like it a lot 'cause it teaches you...like...what to do when you get out of high school and how to live on your own, and how to manage your money and stuff," student Tristan Tamayne said.

"Kids typically would go through their high school program, into college, and not understand what their parents are doing to make those opportunities possible, and now they know," principal Vincent Przybylinski.