“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King
The staff at Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada (CCSAC) have seen, and believe in the magic of books. Since 2011, they have been using reading and books to teach kids about money. They don’t flash, light up, buzz or beep, but they do send a message.
It is never too early to start talking with kids about finances. Education is the very first step to effective money management. The way a kid handles money will affect their future. CCSAC wants kids to get a good education, to start saving for the future and to build financial security.
To teach kids about money, CCSAC has created ‘The Grade 4 Read’ program.
The program is carried out annually during National Financial Literacy Month. CCSAC staff visit classrooms across all four Atlantic provinces to educate grade 4 students.
The classroom lesson starts with an open discussion about money and savings, which always promises to be an entertaining activity. Next, they read a book together out loud. They follow up with a worksheet which includes students drawing they want to save for and brainstorming how they will obtain the required money and where they will keep it.
“We select a new book every year,” explains Tamara Kelly, Director of Education at CCSAC. “The book must have a concept about spending or saving money. We make sure it is specific to the age of the students.”
Related Blog Post: Best Books for Teaching Kids About Money: Our Top Picks
The first year (2011) CCSAC visited 28 classrooms and gave away 700 piggy banks. In 2016 this increased to 65 classrooms and over 14000 piggy banks.
The Grade 4 Read would not be possible without the assistance of many people. It is a group effort. CCSAC staff at all levels, ranging from credit counsellors to receptionists, have set up and carried out classroom visits. Even board members help. Most importantly, school staff have make time in their busy curriculum schedules to accommodate the request.
“Teachers have been very supportive. They keep the books we bring and use them throughout the year. One teacher has all the money books set up in her reading corner.”
“The kids understand a lot more than we realize. They are clever and lots of fun to be with. It is always nice when we get calls from parents to say thank you. This way we know the kids have heard the message and taken it home. In the long term we hope the kids retain and keep that savings message,” says Kelly.
Wondering what books CCSAC uses to teach kids about money? Here is the list!
My Rows and Piles of Coins, Tololwas M. Mollel
Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock, Sheila Bair
The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money, Stan & Jan Berenstain
One Hen, Katie Smith Milway
Beatrice’s Goat, Page McBrier
It’s Not What You’ve Got, Dr Wayne W. Dyer
Those Shoes, Maribeth Boelts
Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada, Inc. is a registered non-profit organization and accredited member of Credit Counselling Canada. They provide confidential and professional budget, credit and debt repayment counselling programs to families and individuals.
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Photo Source: @Centennial_Sch