April is financial literacy month

Greenscreen still (Max & Candi)

April is a power packed month. Taxes are due, students of all ages are on Spring break, overlapping religious holidays occur during the month… and it also happens to be Financial Literacy Month.    And I hear crickets…

In 2004, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month.  Organizations from the public, private and government sectors have been focused on bringing financial education and wellness to Americans. 

Jump$tart.org produced a 2006 Financial Literacy test for high school seniors who averaged 52.4% correct answers.  My guess is that if youth have not had financial training before they reach high school, they may never pass that test.  After all, financial habits are established early in life through influences at home, in one’s culture and in the environment.  These early influences precede exposure to any formal financial curriculum.  Regardless, Jump$start.org provides online tools and curriculums so that every child can become equipped to pass the test.  If they apply it in real life… well, that’s another story which we hope will have a happy ending.

Junior Achievement is another youth organization that focuses on youth development by providing scholarship information, training in career readiness and building a business.  One of many tips to parents and educators from this organization is to “be a good role model.”  JA’s advice regarding teens and credit cards is to give them early exposure to how to use credit wisely so that a child’s first experience with plastic happens before setting foot on a college campus. 

WorldofMoney.org is one of my favorite charities that is dedicated to youth financial education.  Although the program runs year-long (with trips for youth to the Stock Exchange, the Treasury Department and China), the highlight is the Summer Financial Institute that happens in New York City in July.  Youth engage in a rigorous curriculum regarding (you guessed it), the world of money.   

There are more resources than ever to teach your kids about money.  The sooner the better. 

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About candi sparks

Candi Sparks is a fully licensed financial professional and a Brooklyn mother of two. She works with private clients, business owners, the NYC Department of Education, faith based, non profit and community organizations on financial education and implementing financial strategies for success. Events are fun, interactive and solid financial information. Sparks Fly, financial literacy for YOU(th) Learn more so you can live more! toll free: 866.556.2432
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