September 1, 2014

Educating a New Generation of Home Owners

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Educating a New Generation of Home Owners

The REALTORS® Association of the Palm Beaches is making sure students understand the Fair Housing Act, so they are armed with knowledge when their time comes to enter the housing market.

The REALTORS® Association of the Palm Beaches, which covers Palm Beach County in Florida, wants the next generation of home owners to be armed with housing knowledge when they're ready to make their first purchase. That's why the association is getting them educated now — while they're still in grade school.

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Since 2003, RAPB has partnered with the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity to sponsor the Fair Housing Poster Contest, a program to teach schoolchildren about the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Each year in April, to correlate with Fair Housing Month, RAPB supplies a teaching curriculum to 3rd-, 7th-, and 11th-grade teachers at participating schools with information about the Fair Housing Act and sample worksheets to help students learn, says Danielle Boutin, RAPB's director of emerging technologies and communications. Then, students are instructed to submit a poster, essay, or video depicting the theme of that year's poster contest, which is centered around the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

The theme in 2013 was "every face needs a place."

RAPB collects the submissions, posts them on its website, and invites its leadership and membership, as well as the community at large, to vote for their favorites, Boutin says. The entries are placed into three categories: posters, essays, and videos. At a reception at its offices, RAPB announces the winners of each category, awarding a $100 Visa gift card to the first-place winner, a $50 gift card to the second-place winner, and a $25 gift card to the third-place winner.

"As REALTORS®, we have a strong commitment to our communities, and the poster contest is an excellent way to help schoolchildren understand the need for fair housing for all," RAPB Past President Timothy Kinzler says in a statement.

Pamela Guerrier, director of the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity, says that in 2014, the program will expand to include students in grades 3-12.

The video above is the 2012 winner in the video category.

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