Financial Literacy for All Ages at the Library

Financial Literacy for All Ages
Jones Library Presents Money Smart Week

It is an ongoing question for educators and policymakers- what should be taught in schools, and what should be left to parents? One benefit to teaching a subject in the public school system is that, if it is part of a core curriculum standard, the information should reach all children equally. Parents, though, have a more vested interest in their child’s learning, have a better understanding of the ways their children absorb information, and can teach them skills over many years of their lives in varied ways and contexts.

Most states in the U.S. do not require financial literacy courses and these topics do not appear on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. For now, the task is left to parents and the community, but some parents do not feel comfortable talking to their kids about money. These conversations can be difficult as they may alert your child to harsh realities and difficult choices of adulthood. And many adults need support with financial literacy themselves!

The public awareness campaign, Money Smart Week, seeks to educate people of all ages on the topic of financial literacy. Even very young children can learn these concepts through games, activities, stories, and crafts. Money saving is a form of delayed gratification, the ability to resist an immediate reward in favor of a later reward. Often, and especially in the case of money saving, the later reward is also a greater one. Money saving requires planning ahead, envisioning a goal, and exerting self-restraint. These skills benefit young children just as they benefit adults. Talking to your children about saving up for college, for example, can get them thinking about their long term goals and future in a realistic way. They event have Teacher Resources available online, as well as MSW games.

The Jones Library in Amherst will be hosting Money Smart Week events for children and adults. On Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm, you can attend Understanding Credit, a workshop on the wise use of credit which will cover concepts like your credit score and the best credit cards. Adults and older teens will likely find this highly valuable. Then on Thursday, April 28 at 10:30am, the children’s story hour will feature themes of money saving. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Last week,  Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced plans for the new $20, $10 and $5 notes, with the portrait of Harriet Tubman to be featured on the front of the new $20. Secretary Lew also announced plans for the reverse of the new $10 to feature an image of the historic march for suffrage that ended on the steps of the Treasury Department and honor the leaders of the suffrage movement—Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul.  The front of the new $10 note will maintain the portrait of Alexander Hamilton. He also announced plans for the reverse of the new $5 to honor events at the Lincoln Memorial that helped to shape our history and our democracy and prominent individuals involved in those events, including Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. The reverse of the new $20 will feature images of the White House and President Andrew Jackson.

With these upcoming changes, financial literacy can be connected to current affairs and US history!

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