Most, if not all, area schools have officially let out for the summer. Between spending time with friends, lounging at the pool and family vacations, it can be very easy to fill those long summer days with fun. However, summer also provides an excellent opportunity for young Hoosiers to continue learning.
During the school year, students study topics such as geometry, biology, world history and so on. Missing from those topics though is what I like to refer to as “life skills,” instruction on things like how to balance a checkbook or build a résumé. So today, I wanted to let you know of an opportunity this summer for students to start learning about financial literacy and smart money management from an early age.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Connie Lawson launched her annual Summer Reading Program. The purpose of this program is to help elementary age students learn about smart money management skills and apply them to their own lives.
In order to complete the program, students are provided a list of books by topic in addition to a list of activities to complete once they have read the required number of books. Students are able to select books from two reading levels: beginner/moderate or moderate/advanced. Perhaps one of the best parts of the program is that it is available at all public libraries as well as on the Secretary of State website, making it free of charge to any Hoosier wishing to participate.
While completing the program, students will learn how money works, the importance of saving and how to earn money. To walk you through an example of what the program would be like, a beginner/moderate level reader would need to read a total of seven books; one about what money is, three about saving and spending and three about making money. Books on the list include “What is Money, Anyway? Why dollars and coins have value” as well as “The Berenstain Bears’ Lemonade Stand.” Then, students will need to complete three activities, one in each category. For example, in the “What is Money?” category, one option is to speak with a bank teller about the role of a bank in our financial world and make a list of the questions they will ask the teller.