Summer Day Camp encourages Money Smart Kids
At an early age children are able to learn and understand more concepts than adults often realize. Providing hands on experiences, decision making skills, real life scenarios, and the opportunity to practice independence creates the foundation necessary to promote responsible behaviors and habits, now and as adults. Over the summer months YWCA of Sweetwater County took the opportunity to introduce and/or enhance the knowledge children have of money and personal finances.
“It is never too early to start teaching children money skills to help them become responsible adults.” Said Melinda Baas, Financial Empowerment Director. When you teach children money skills you are teaching them important values”.
YWCA Financial Empowerment and Summer Day Camp partnered during the past six weeks to teach children about the importance of being financially responsible. Once a week, Melinda Baas, Financial Empowerment Program Director visited the classrooms, bringing activities, pretend money and challenges. Together they learned to recognize types of currency, adding and subtracting, understanding wants versus needs and the importance of saving and giving.
At the beginning of the week, each child received an allowance. Bad choices would require a deduction from their funds. A makeshift store with various merchandise including activities and games was set up at the end of the week and the children were able to go shopping.
This is the third year the Program has been in place. At the start of the second summer Baas sat with the children and talked about what money could be used for. “The kids named some basic things like food, housing, clothing. A couple threw in ideas like water or electricity. But, I knew the program was making an impact when a child threw out the idea “toys!” Two other children looked at the child and said “Those are wants not needs.”