Jarontae Gates, 14, had a difficult choice to make: buy a bike, skateboard or a rake?
Gates chose the rake, knowing he had to make money.
South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis visited Capers Preparatory Christian Academy in West Ashley Wednesday morning to teach students about financial literacy.
Loftis handed out Samsung Galaxy tablet computers, provided by Visa, to students. The tablets, which usually sell for more than $200, were filled with financial games. Students also were given games to play on their desktop computers.
"Financial literacy sorely needs to be taught in schools, and we know that 97 percent of kids not only play video games but love video games," Loftis said. "In a school like this it's so important because they can take these home to their families that don't have computers -- this has a keyboard, a router and Wi-Fi."
Capers is a private school founded in 2003 to serve students who experienced academic and behavioral problems in the public school system. It currently serves 49 pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Around 95 percent of them can't afford tuition, so the school relies on community donations, said Fayrine Brown, the school's founder and headmistress.
Most of the students are from Johns Island, where the school used to be located before it could no longer afford the rent. Crosstown Church opened its doors to the school for free, and its seven rooms have been housed there for two years. All 14 graduates of the school are attending college.
Loftis also gave out tablets at a Myrtle Beach school Wednesday and will hand them out at schools in Greenville and Rock Hill on Thursday and Columbia on Friday -- five schools in all. In addition, Loftis said he is going to mail all 868 elementary schools in South Carolina the computer games, disks and links so they can download more games.
Loftis said he plans to partner with the American Association of Retired Persons and the Appleseed Foundation to provide financial literacy education to adults.