Photo: Joe Duty (Flickr)
Against the backdrop of rising unemployment and mounting student loan and credit card debt, several state agencies and nonprofit groups organized a Money Smart Day at the Indiana Statehouse on Friday. The event for sixth grade students aimed at getting kids thinking about financial responsibility at younger ages.
The Indiana Secretary of State’s office was one of the lead agencies that organized the first Money Smart Day. The office’s investor education coordinator Melanie Woods says responsible money management is crucial to success, particularly in tough economic times. She says the sooner that education starts, the better.
“And it’s a hope that they’ll sort of keep this in their head, keep this in their mind for later on and just build upon everything they’re learning now as they get older and it’s more relevant to them,” Woods says.
Schoolteacher Mary Page is from Kokomo, where unemployment has reached into the double digits. She says the rough economy has actually made it easier to connect the lessons to students.
“They’re thinking about the human resources and the goods and services and those decisions that they have to make,” Page says. “So now they’re actually looking at those things and they can actually relate it to their home life.”
Indiana students are required by state statute to learn about personal finance in grades six through 12, and the Money Smart Day helps satisfy some of that requirement.