When it comes to finances and financial literacy, children can often get overlooked in the conversation. This seems like a logical decision because, well, they usually have no money, bills, or bank accounts, and are often years away from these things. Why teach financial literacy now when they won’t need it for a long time? Isn’t it better to wait until they can fully understand the impact of financial decisions?
However, as we’ve noted before, it is critical to teach financial wellness and engrain responsible money habits into children and teens so that by the time they do have a relationship with money, they know how to make smart choices from the beginning. Research has shown early financial literacy education is effective and often stops them from developing bad habits.
Credit unions often find ways to get kids involved with the credit union with small savings accounts and such, but if your credit union is interested in finding a new way to connect with younger kids and help them understand financial responsibility, you might consider joining the Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Club.
The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Club
Rick Durante, Executive Director of the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, and his team were looking for ways to make financial literacy fun for kids while also educational. During their research, they came across the Berenstain Bears book, Trouble with Money, in which the bears learn the importance of being responsible with money and decide to deposit their funds into a new bank account.
The book was a stroke of inspiration for the credit union. It perfectly summed up the message that Franklin Mint wanted to convey to kids. Using the book, the credit union set out to create a kid’s financial literacy program. The intention was to bring the book to schools in the area, read it to them, and follow up with a lesson plan created by Franklin Mint.
However, there were two pieces of the puzzle the credit union was still experimenting with. First, the book, while perfect for the lesson, featured a bank instead of a credit union, and Federal Mint began to wonder how they could adapt the book to reflect credit unions instead. Second, the space in their headquarters they hoped to turn into a financial literacy center sometime in the future was still going unused, but this new program seemed like the chance to do something with it.
And so they devised a plan to bring all elements of the puzzle together to create a collaborative financial literacy program for kids. Read More at CUSO Magazine…