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LU Prepares for Another NEST at Regina-Howell

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Lamar University (LU) will establish another NEST interactive learning lab at Regina-Howell Elementary this summer and launch a newly-designed financial literacy program.

Susan Conn McCurry, a distinguished LU alumni, and husband Roger McCurry are sponsoring the space for the campus. 

The NESTs allow for a creative learning space for the partnership to collaborate on curriculum between Beaumont ISD and the LU academic departments. In the fall of 2021, LU, in collaboration with Education First Federal Credit Union, will also launch a financial literacy program for all Cardinal NEST campuses. 

“When we get to join forces with real-world applications, like Education First, we are able to create environments where our cardinals and BISD students are developing transferable career readiness skills,” said LU Executive Director Dr. Teresa Simpson. “The LU business partnership that is established along with the sponsorship for the Cardinal NEST allows us to support the students of that campus on many creative learning initiatives.”

In 2019, Education First rolled out a financial literacy workbook that mirrors the tenants of their youth savings program, Center for Advanced Financial Achievement. The program, designed to meet Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements for fifth-grade students, has been adopted by BISD, and guides them through various training modules that include saving, spending, budgeting and vocabulary building. 

“As a credit union that is rooted in education, financial literacy is very close to our hearts,” said President/CEO Kevin Conn. “We strive to provide our members with educational resources to help guide them at every stage of their financial journey, from youth savings accounts to retirement readiness. We’re hopeful that this collaborative curriculum will instill a baseline of financial literacy that will follow these students throughout their lifetime.”  

Special programming that will serve over 30 fifth-grade math classes will be led by Cardinals SOAR Chair and Student Director Taliah Belcher.

“This program has allowed me to grow and develop professionally as a finance and accounting major, while also providing support and empowerment to my fellow cardinals through SOAR,” said Belcher. “Working with Education First on the financial literacy program has been invaluable, as we share their joy in giving back to the community and our Cardinal NEST campuses. Through this initiative we hope to ignite in students a passion for learning in this field.”

LU will build their Cardinal NEST over the next few months, with a ribbon cutting date expected for late fall. Regina-Howell joins Pietzsch-MacArthur, Blanchette, Charlton-Pollard, Amelia, Martin, Fletcher and Dishman as Cardinal NEST campuses.