Marshall MS Students “RockIt” to Financial Literacy


Pilot program combines music, video gaming, and finances

Most pre-teens are familiar with the latest video games and the most popular songs and rock bands, but when it comes to money and finances they could use some guidance and instruction.

 Over at Marshall Middle School, 50 seventh-grade students are getting that and more as they combine their musical knowledge and video gaming skills with a unique curriculum that is designed to teach them financial literacy. The “RockIt!” program challenges students to create a rock band and manage their finances.

 “The students work in different teams to form a band and then determine what kind of costs and what types of revenue they can generate through a simulated process,” said Laurie Vignaud from Capital One Bank. “They will learn everything from balancing a checkbook and managing money to checking their credit score and running a small business.”

  “RockIt!” is a partnership between Capital One Bank, the Harris Foundation and the Federal Reserve along with Game Truck Licensing, LLC, a mobile gaming company. As part of the program, Game Truck deploys its roving gaming theater to Marshall, where students play the popular video game Guitar Hero. Through the game, students earn simulated money that they then use to form their own band.

 “The gaming is what gets the kids’ attention, but the thing we are most pleased about is the foundation of economic material they get,” said David Bowers from the Federal Reserve Bank.

 Students will also create a music video, which they will then use to try to win a contract with a major record label. “I am very excited about this program and I can’t wait to see who wins,” said Marshall Middle School Principal Michael Harrison.  

 Capital One and the Harris Foundation hope to expand the program to other schools in the spring. “We believe the way to improve the financial skills of all Americans is through our children,” said Bernard Harris, founder of the Harris Foundation.