RMS students learn to savePublished 9:12pm Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—The Pelham Public Library kicked off a year-long financial education program at Riverchase Middle School on April 23 with the TeenBoss Money Workshop presented to the eighth grade by Atlanta-based speaker, Tommy Johns.
The workshop focused on budgeting, saving, investing and smart spending. Johns delivered this age-targeted message about smart money management through “visuals, stories and examples (eighth graders) can relate to.”
During the workshop, the eighth graders learned the importance of saving and staying out of debt, understanding their spending and the potential dangers of credit cards.
“My goal is to teach them to be financially successful by saving early and investing wisely,” Johns said. “Too many people wait until too late.”
This TeenBoss Money Workshop is just the first in a series of things Pelham Public Library director Barbara Roberts has planned for Riverchase Middle School, including bringing in books and workshops aimed at building up financial understanding among the students.
“This lays the groundwork for good money management skills for the rest of their lives,” Roberts said. “It shows (the students) that saving is not that difficult, anyone can do it.”
The financial education program at Riverchase Middle School is part of a larger grant-funded initiative by the library to “bring financial information to the community through a free and unbiased source,” Roberts said.
Earlier this year, the Pelham Public Library was one of 17 libraries nation-wide chosen by a competitive selection process to receive the $83,500 Smart Investing @ Your Library Grant sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Education Foundation and the American Library Association.
The Pelham Public Library is using the grant to fund a variety of programs and activities aimed at family financial literacy, and part of this is a partnership with the local schools to bring financial education to the classroom.
Roberts said she plans to bring at least one financially focused and age targeted program to each school in Pelham.
“We have to teach our children these lessons so they can make good choices,” Roberts said. “If they are strong financially, it’s good for the whole community.”