Using Local History to Teach Financial Literacy

By Marsha Hendrix, Fulton Mansion Site Manager

Garner and Heller present the program to the “Money Matters” students.Fulton Mansion is pleased to unveil a new partnership and education program with First Community Bank. Thanks to the leadership of the Friends of the Fulton Mansion Board President Sterling Heller and her son, Eric Heller, vice-president/branch manager at First Community Bank in Rockport, the bank has donated $5,000 to the mansion’s restoration.

In addition to being a financial partner for Fulton Mansion, the partnership with First Community Bank has also birthed an exciting new education initiative about financial literacy.

Many students graduate from high school with little to no knowledge or skills about how to manage their money wisely. First Community Bank approached the Fulton Mansion about creating a program for high school students to help address this need. Together, they discovered that George Fulton’s success as a self-made man and the history of the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company would provide unique and relevant materials to teach this topic to modern high school students.

Garner shows the students one of the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Co. checks.During the one-hour program, students enrolled in the “Money Matters” course have the opportunity to learn core financial literacy concepts such as getting credit, obtaining a loan, and the importance of savings. Fulton Mansion Educator Lara Garner and a presenter from the bank will educate the students on current financial literacy best practices using Fulton stories and historic primary source materials, such as Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company checks. Students will get the bonus of learning local history as well as financial literacy in a fun way.

Garner and Heller presented the program for the first time on March 24 to 80 high school students at Rockport-Fulton High School. We hope the 80 students that participated in the program will graduate feeling more confident about their ability to manage income wisely. We also want to inspire them to believe that creativity and a good work ethic can get them a long way in life—just as in the case of our own George Fulton who said, “There is no such word as fail.”

Fulton Mansion is located in the resort area of Rockport-Fulton, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. The site is part of the Texas Tropical Trail Region.

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Congratulations to Lara and Eric for developing such a creative program. The education programs at the Mansion just keep getting better and better.

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