A Lexington-Richland School District Five teacher is part of a new statewide financial literacy initiative, which aims to energize more teachers about the importance of incorporating personal finance education into their classrooms.

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced the launch of the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program this month and Irmo High School International School for the Arts teacher Sarah Ostergaard has been selected to take part.

“I applied to this program because I believe a thorough, hands-on understanding of financial literacy can have positive, lasting effects on the students of South Carolina for generations,” Ostergarrd said. “I am excited for my students and can’t wait to share this program with others. I want to seize the future and make what ought to be what is, which is empowering the next generation of our community’s leaders.”

Irmo High School Principal Dr. Robin Hardy said, “As a South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher, Sarah Ostergaard will serve as both an ambassador for the program and for the very deserving students of our respective school and district. We are so very grateful for her passion and leadership.”

Sponsored by Future Scholar, South Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan, and in partnership with SC Economics, the South Carolina Financial Literacy Master Teacher Program provides financial incentives to K-12 teachers who are experts in the area of financial literacy and have a desire to teach professional development workshops to other educators in their schools and districts. Through the program participating teachers will have access to specialized training and financial literacy curriculum resources that will better enable them to promote financial literacy education in K-12 schools.

“You cannot underestimate the importance of financial literacy. It is an essential tool for personal financial wellness, and it impacts so many facets of our everyday life,” Treasurer Loftis said. “We want to channel the enthusiasm and passion of our best and brightest educators and train even more teachers on how they can effectively incorporate personal finance education into their classrooms.”