Tweens (10-12)







Thrifty Kitchen

Ronda Rex, a family and consumer science specialist with the University of Kentucky Cooperative, guided participants in making holiday gifts using simple ingredients found in most any kitchen. The program was held on a Thursday in mid-December at 3:30 p.m. 

Ronda talked about ways to save money by creating homemade gifts for friends and family and how the savings could pay future dividends. She showed us how to decorate mason jars filled with trail mix and how to make a cocoa mix placed in plastic bags and decorated to look like reindeer.

Ronda even used her personal story of having grown up in poverty, sharing how she was able to make a better life for herself through sound financial principles.

Advanced Planning

This program was offered as part of Thinking Money, a traveling exhibit about financial literacy offered by the ALA Public Programs Office and the FINRA Foundation. Our library was selected as one of 50 sites nationwide to host the exhibit, although this kind of program could definitely be done without the accompanying exhibit. 

We started planning more than one year in advance of the time our project was set to launch. First, we communicated and met with our presenter in order to understand the concept of the event and to determine what support/supplies would be needed. We also met with our PR/marketing team to discuss a strategy to promote our project, to provide marketing tips shared by the ALA and FINRA, and to discuss the requirements of our grant.

We then worked with our Display Committee to request displays at each of our branch locations leading up to the event. The displays consisted of resources focused on personal finance (books, DVDs, audios) accompanied by posters promoting the program. We then made contact with three area schools — Campbell County Middle School, Highlands High School and Newport Central Catholic — in addition to reaching youth at other schools through our partners.

As we moved closer to the launch of the program, we purchased refreshments.


We conducted a publicity campaign for the project utilizing our December Connections newsletter, which is mailed to more than 3,500 people in our county. We also utilized social media through paid Facebook ads. 


The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service covered the cost of supplies and refused to accept an honorarium from us. We covered the cost of refreshments for the program, spending about $50 on what lasted us through several other programs. We spent $30 on Facebook ads for this and other events. 

Day-of-event Activity

Our portion of set-up included setting up the tables and chairs and providing the AV for the program. The extension office arrived with everything pre-packaged for the gifts that patrons could make.

Program Execution

The program had 16 people in attendance. While we did not reach the number of people we had hoped, we do believe the program, displays and publicity helped to create a greater awareness of financial literacy in the area.

Community members and program participants were guided in seeking good resources to become better educated in areas of personal finance. We saw a 17 percent increase in circulation of personal finance resources compared to the same timeframe during the previous year.


Begin planning early, seek presenters that are enthusiastic and passionate about the topic, and plan to have a welcoming environment with an element of fun as you execute your event.

Consider the timeline for your program and whether it allows you the best opportunity to reach your intended audience. We hosted our program in December, and in our region the holiday period is not a great time to attract participants.


Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images