How do most kids learn to excel at the important things in life? Education and practice are the main ingredients. Yet most kids don’t learn what it takes to manage their money at an early enough age.
Luckily, awareness is on the rise. In 2000, The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy began promoting April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. They even have the government’s full support: in April 2005, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill supporting the goals and ideals of Financial Literacy Month. We are really excited to see decision makers in Washington back this important cause.
But what does it take to motivate the nation? Luckily, the general public seems to be waking up. In fact, research shows that 91 percent of parents are interested in providing a better financial education for their kids.* They just need some help to make it happen.
That’s where Jump$tart can do its part. It partners with about 150 national organizations, many of these household names. Generally, these partner organizations conduct and/or support financial education or offer financial education tools and materials for kids.
Community financial institutions also contribute in a major way. A big part of their responsibility is giving back on a local level, and participating in financial literacy actually helps them meet requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). CRA was designed to encourage financial institutions to help meet the needs of their communities.
Considering where we are as a nation, educating future generations on how to manage money has never been more important. We can all do our part to make the ideas behind Financial Literacy Month happen everyday. We just need to reach out on a local level.
*Center for Media Research, American Express survey, 2010