Financial club teaches students about money, savings and credit
Thanks to a TSYS’ Partners in Education project, some students at Downtown Elementary Magnet Academy (DEMA), ended the 2014-15 school year with a better understanding of money and a few extra dollars in their pockets.
At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, TSYS volunteers introduced the DEMA Challengers Financial Literacy Club for students in third through fifth grades. The club’s goal was to help students develop healthy money habits today so they become fiscally responsible citizens later in life.
The club won the Project of the Year award for “Enriching the Life Experience of Students” at the Muscogee County PIE celebration on April 28, 2015.
The program was spearheaded by Ciciley Nelson-Dixon, a manager in Risk & Compliance at TSYS. She and other TSYS team members meet with students monthly and used lesson plans from Visa’s Practical Money Skills curriculum. Topics included saving, spending, giving, budgeting and earning money. Basic concepts of credit, stocks and compound interest were also introduced.
Students had opportunities to earn real money by correctly answering questions, completing journal and writing assignments, and researching financial terms. Students who received cash could keep it or save it by choosing to “Bank the Bucks.”
At the last meeting of the year, dubbed Redemption Day, students who chose to “Bank the Bucks” were given their money, which had gained significant interest. Some kids received $11, and one exceptional saver won an iPad mini.
“On Redemption Day, they really understood the idea of delayed gratification. You don’t have to spend it instantly. You’ll get more if you save,” Ciciley said.