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Making Money Smart Students

Piggy bank

Money Smart Week, which will be celebrated this year starting on April 21, is a national initiative of ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to provide financial literacy programming to help members of your community better manage their personal finances.

But teaching financial literacy does not have to happen only during April. Here are a few ideas to help promote financial literacy and make money smart students any time of year. 

Be a Master Money Builder!

Photograph of child putting coins into three jars. Jars are labeled: Savings, Toys, Education

Money Builders is a one-day camp with a Lego theme. At our library, this program was created for the children of refugees, although it could be a great program for any child.

Through games and discussion, children learn about needs versus wants, the importance of saving, why using banks is important, and what things cost. Participants were given Money Builders t-shirts, a Lego key chain, a savings jar, and lunch. At the conclusion of the camp, they watched The Lego Movie.

Top Tips for Hiring Financial Literacy Speakers & Authors

Illustration of people on laptops and money symbols on screen.

Michigan State University's Gast Business Library partners with the College of Social Science’s Go for the Green financial literacy team to cosponsor MSU’s participation in Money Smart Week, a national program sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. As part of this weeklong event, the Go for the Green team hires a financial literacy-focused author to come to campus and speak with students about managing their money.

What We Learned When We Took Our Financial Literacy Programs Online

Photo of an open laptop with an image on a piggy bank on the screen

COVID-19 isn't just a health crisis; for many Americans, the pandemic has caused economic turmoil as well. As members of ALA's Financial Literacy Interest Group, we know the importance of financial capability skills, and this was a moment for us to step up.

So facing statewide "shelter at home" orders this spring, public and academic libraries made a quick shift to online financial literacy programming. Here’s what we learned along the way.

Young Entrepreneur Club

Young Entrepreneur Club participants

The Young Entrepreneur Club helps kids ages 6 to 12 learn the basics of becoming an entrepreneur. Over the course of three sessions, the participants pick a product or service, create a business name and logo, and learn money management, communication and sales skills. At the final event, participants promote and sell their goods or services at a special “sidewalk sale” during a popular community event, Gretna Days.

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