Members of the San Francisco 49ers helped Visa Inc. officials kick off the latest phase of their personal finance education program for high school students this month. Appearing at the North Salinas High School, Quarterback Alex Smith and linebacker Patrick Willis unveiled "Financial Football," an NFL-themed money management video game available for free online or as a free download for the iPhone or iPod touch. The game comprises part of Visa's "Practical Money Skills for Life" website. Students answer fast-paced questions about personal finance to move their ball across the field and into the end zone.

High schools in twenty-nine states have agreed to distribute the free game, which follows the success of the similar "Financial Soccer" initiative. Schools can use the game as part of a financial literacy curriculum with the help of free teacher guides and lesson plans. Parents can also access free articles and other material to reinforce the message of responsible credit card use and financial planning at home.

About the Author

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.