Business Schools

New Hope-Solebury Launches Financial Literacy Course For Eighth Graders

One student recently received national recognition.

Faculty member Dr. Brian Rutledge leads a discussion with his financial literacy students.
Credit: Submitted

New Hope-Solebury Middle School has introduced a financial literacy course into its eighth-grade curriculum.

The initiative, spearheaded by faculty member Dr. Brian Rutledge and New Hope-Solebury Middle School Principal Dr. Erik Pedersen, aligns with the New Hope-Solebury School District’s mission to foster future-ready students, according to the district.

Rutledge, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a graduate degree in risk management and insurance from the Fox School of Business at Temple University, brings extensive knowledge and practical experience to the classroom.

“We are proud to have launched this course in anticipation of the state mandate for financial literacy at the high school level starting in 2026,” said Rutledge. “By offering this course in middle school, our students will have a greater appreciation and grasp of the content when it is expanded in high school.”

The course uses Mass Mutual’s EverFi financial literacy program to engage students with interactive experiences that cover banking, credit scores, insurance, mortgages, and entrepreneurship through real-world scenarios.

The district said in a statement: “The impetus for developing a financial literacy offering at the middle school level is rooted in creating a seamless progression for students’ understanding of financial concepts. The program lays a strong foundation, ensuring that students can confidently navigate basic financial discussions and recognize entrepreneurial opportunities.”

Rutledge highlighted the impact of the course on students.

The program received national recognition through eighth grader Jill Leyman, who was awarded a $2,000 scholarship in the Mass Mutual Foundation’s annual essay contest for her reflection on the concepts learned through the EverFi program.

NeSuperintendent Dr. Charles Lentz with student Jill Leyman on her scholarship.
Credit: Submitted

Leyman was one of only 1,300 students nationwide to win and she was recognized at a recent New Hope-Solebury School Board meeting.

“It has been awesome to see kids’ eyes opened as they realize what an amortization schedule looks like!  We finish the course with a module on entrepreneurship,” said Rutledge.

“We are fortunate to have someone like Dr. Rutledge leading this instruction,” said Pedersen. “His deep knowledge of the course material and our high school programming uniquely positions him to prepare our middle school students for the expectations awaiting them.”

About the author'

Joe Cavanaugh

Leave a Comment