MetLife teams up with Montclaire for finance class

It’s important for businesses to become part of the fabric that makes up a community.

(Above) MetLife’s Jeff Tulloch teaches financial planning to students at Montclaire Elementary School.

(Above) MetLife’s Jeff Tulloch teaches financial planning to students at Montclaire Elementary School.

That’s the belief of insurance giant MetLife, who currently is working to move its U.S. retail business headquarters to south Charlotte’s Ballantyne Corporate Park.

“MetLife has a history of whatever communities we are working in, living in, we like to participate – it’s part of our culture,” said Jeff Tulloch, vice president of MetLife PlanSmart & Business Advantage, a team dedicated to fostering financial education and independence.

That’s why Tulloch, along with a group of 50 MetLife volunteers, visited Montclaire Elementary School or Wednesday, Nov. 6, to share some of their financial knowledge. MetLife has long partnered with Junior Achievement, a program focused on empowering kids to one day own their economic success.

“Knowing that we are new, newer to the Charlotte-area, we decided to come here and partner with JA,” said Tulloch, who lives in Connecticut but was in town for a MetLife conference. “We have a longstanding partnership with Junior Achievement that goes back to the 1970s.”

The volunteers delivered the Junior Achievement financial responsibility curriculum to 24 classrooms of students at the school. It’s the first time Montclaire has been able to participate in Junior Achievement in the school building, though students in the past have traveled to participate in the program’s well-known BizTown. MetLife volunteers hope by teaching financial education at a young age, students will have more opportunities to secure a bright future.

Emily Miles, principal at the school, said she’s happy to have MetLife volunteers work with Montclaire students. In an age where 21st century skills are key aspects of education, Miles said many times that means teaching technology skills only. But with the help of organizations like MetLife, learning financial planning – skills students also need – at a young age will help the Title I school’s students succeed later in life.

“I think it’s great, too, that they are coming into the schools. They are bringing our kids new skills. They are focused on embracing the whole child. That’s 21st century skills,” Miles added.

Tulloch said Charlotte will continue to see MetLife volunteers out and about in the community. Several events already are in the works for the early part of 2014, though details have not been released. The group hopes to be fully moved into its new Charlotte headquarters by the end of 2014.

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