So…you think you want to be a millionaire? The 25 middle-schoolers attending Camp Millionaire, a financial literacy boot camp sponsored by VBCPS Partners in Education, sure do! Rising seventh- to ninth-graders participated in this week long innovative day camp – held during the first week of summer break – were equipped with the tools they will need to make sound financial decisions in the future. Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union (VBSFCU), Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union, Mass Mutual and the Virginia Cooperative Extension joined together to create fun-filled games and activities to help students gain a better understanding of responsible spending, saving and investing.
Would you ever think that Four Square could provide students with a realistic picture of the interrelationship between business owner, employee, entrepreneur and investor? Financial 4-Square did exactly that as each student was provided with an occupation and various scenarios and had to determine where they belonged in the squares. As the last of them joined in, it was obvious that each was quickly learning that no matter which “square” (category) each found themselves in, all would have to earn an income and each would need to be a savvy investor.
The hope is that camps such as these are teaching students at a young age to value money and take care of it so it can later take care of them.
“Interactive lessons and financial literacy programs such as these are helping students at a young age gain a clearer perspective as to their own accountability when it comes to determining their future financial freedom and independence,” Amy Courtwright, vice president of marketing for VBSFCU said. “It’s important that they learn to set financial goals and manage their money wisely now to form healthy financial practices that they will use throughout their lives.”
This is the sixth year Camp Millionaire has been held in Virginia Beach and is one more way community partners are reaching out to support students and the VBCPS Financial Literacy curriculum.
Both credit unions and the Virginia Cooperative Extension representatives serve as active members on the VBCPS Financial Skills Curriculum Writing Team which helped to develop the seventh grade Financial Skills 9-week course taught in all VBCPS middle schools. Each year, volunteers meet with middle and high school instructors who teach the Family and Consumer Sciences course and Resource Management for Independent Living to keep them abreast of resources available to them on financial literacy and the changes taking place in the finance industry that would affect students. These partnering organizations meet with students during financial skills classes to discuss diverse topics related to wise money practices. They also team up to conduct Reality Stores, a financial simulation where students choose careers and make decisions about their budgets and lifestyles.