MORRISTOWN, NJ - The concept of sustainability is based on the supposition that people and their communities are made up of social, economic, and environmental systems that are in constant interaction. The idea is that these interconnected systems must be kept in harmony and balance so the community can continue to function for the benefit of its occupants.  The principles of sustainability help a community ensure that its social, economic, and environmental systems are well integrated and will endure. 

The Unity Charter School understands the importance of these interrelated systems and took time to focus on the economic component.  Last week financial professionals from Prudential came to Unity to speak with middle school students about financial literacy as well as well as careers in the financial sector. 

By teaching children about money we understand we can help them discover the relationships between earning, spending and saving. In doing this, children also begin to understand the value of money. The morning finance workshop was divided into two sessions.  In the first session the students learned about basic finance concepts.  They learned about various types of accounts and how to save.  Then they were introduced to financial services careers. 

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The students welcomed back a former student Daniel Bolson who is part of the real estate investors group, Emily Bestwick who is a finance associate with the finance leadership development program and Lucy Brock who is a curriculum management specialist.  Throughout their time together students learned about basic finance management.  They ended their time together by creating an advertising campaign for the subject of their choice. 

Apart from financial literacy, guest speakers offer Unity students an opportunity to be cognitively engaged in listening, in a way, which also promotes critical thinking.  Critical thinking is a set of complex cognitive processes, which students arrive at through questioning.  The questioning is a fundamental part of working with guest speakers. It allows students to reason and deduce information to make more informed decisions.

 It was Albert Einstein that said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”