By Tomeka Jones, CNN
(CNN) April is the Month of the Military Child, which recognizes and salutes an estimated 1.9 million American children of military families. Meet Erika Booth, the 2012 Marine Corps Child of the Year. For the second year, Operation Homefront has awarded Military Child of the Year to young leaders, like Booth, from each branch of the military. The winners receive the honor for their resilience and community impact.
CNN Student News recently talked to Erika about her life as a military child.
CNN: What has life been life for you as a military child?
Erika Booth: I've moved 5 times, been in 6 schools, lived in 8 houses. I've actually really enjoyed being a military child just because I can say my dad fights for our country every day and that's his job and not everyone can say that.
CNN: What would you say is the hardest part about being a military child?
Booth: The hardest thing is the deployments, definitely; I've gone through 10 of them so I definitely know that is the hardest thing. My dad has missed my first day of school since 8th grade and I'm a junior in high school now. You just really have to know in your heart that they're going to come back and having family and friends really helps with that. Military children are always more resilient to things.
CNN: Erika, would you be willing to discuss with us how health issues have affected your life personally?
Booth: Having lupus has made me more responsible. When I was diagnosed and I was in the hospital I hit a brick wall and I was like I can either choose to do something or I can sit at home and stop my life. And I decided I need to keep going with my life it's not going to stop me.
Shawn Stockman of the group Boyz II Men opens up about one of his twin sons who has autism, and autism's impact on his family.
By Carl Azuz, CNN
(CNN) - Take a moment to think back on your high school days – if you dare – and imagine it’s prom season. What would your parents have said if you asked for $1,000 for the dance and all the expenses associated with it?
Today’s parents are saying yes, according to a survey recently released by Visa Inc. In fact, the average amount of money that American families are spending is $1,078, which is over $200 more than they spent last year.
Why and how are two good questions you may have. And part of the first answer could lie in “Super Sweet 16”-style spending. Jason Alderman, senior director of Global Financial Education at Visa, says prom spending “is spiraling out of control as teens continuously try to one-up each other.”
The actual ticket is often the cheapest part. By the time a student buys a dress or rents a tuxedo, a couple hundred bucks is already out the window. And when you throw in accessories, flowers, dinner, professional pictures and (take a deep breath) a limo, you may need to plan on working overtime.
The survey shows that money spent varies by region. People in the Northeast are spending the most on average – about $2,000 per family – while those in the Midwest are spending the least at $700.
by Donna Krache, CNN
(CNN) Debit cards, credit cards, saving and borrowing money – you probably learned a lot of what you know about personal finance from your own life experiences. But in a world of economic uncertainty, rising college costs and social media that can target some of the youngest consumers, financial literacy may be more important than ever for your kids.
So who’s teaching your kids about money?
It’s not likely that they are learning it in school; personal finance is probably not a requirement for a high school diploma in your state. According to the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only four states – Utah, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia – require at least a one-semester course in personal finance for high school graduation.
Several other states require that personal finance be woven into other subjects, like economics. But less than half of all states require that students take economics.
In fact, most states offer economics and personal finance only as electives.
The 2011 Survey of the States, a biennial report by the Council for Economic Education that focuses on the importance of teaching economics and personal finance, shows that while there has been progress toward more course offerings and requirements in these subject areas since 1998, “the trend is now slowing, and in some cases, it’s moving backward.”
Virginia is one of the latest states to mandate that its high school students take personal finance. Beginning with this year’s freshman class, students must take at least one credit in personal finance at some point in their four years of high school as a requirement for graduation.
As President Obama urges lawmakers to keep student loan rates low, Will Cain and Andrew Ross offer solutions with Christine Romans.
Christine Romans speaks with University of Iowa upperclassmen about President Obama's recent speech about student debt.
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org