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End of Financial Literacy Month marks the beginning of more financial education

By Dian Vujovich

April 30 marks the end of Financially Literacy Month but don’t let that stop you from learning as much as possible as soon as possible about money: Acquiring, managing, spending and growing it are essential in this life.


I’m sure that you’re familiar with that old saying, “When one door closes another opens”. Well, to make sure your kids won’t fall off the life-long learning wheel of financial literacy here are three terrific resources to insure the schools in your neighborhood, district and/or state remain up to the task of educating young people about money all year long.


All of the programs are free and brought to you by one of these three of highly respected names in the money business: Muriel F. Siebert, The Vanguard Group and Warren Buffett.


Those who personally know Muriel Siebert call her “Mickie”. Those familiar with her by reputation only know her as “The First Woman of Finance”. Why?  For a number of reasons— the most notable is because she was the first woman to ever own a seat on The New York Stock Exchange.


In addition to all of the incredible work on Wall Street she’s accomplished, Mickie created the Siebert Personal Financial Program – Taking Control of Your Financial Future through her Muriel F. Siebert Foundation.  The program began as a project 15 years ago and has now developed into an entire curriculum for young people—and adults—that teaches a host of money management skills.


Free to any school—public, private, vocational, etc.—Siebert’s program offers everyone a chance to learn about money and investing. In addition to the no cost for the workbooks and all media materials, Siebert’s foundation also trains teachers/educators about how to use the program.


To learn more about the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation and the Siebert Personal Financial Program – Taking Control of Your Financial Future email: ao.siebertfoundation@gmail.com.


Also available free of charge to classrooms of all sizes, shapes and fundings, The Vanguard Group, best known for it no-load low-cost family of funds, has created “My Classroom Economy”.


This website and program were created thanks to a 10-year old’s inquisitive mind, teacher Rafe Esquith’s book, There Are No Shortcuts and a partnership with Vanguard.


From the My Classroom Economy website: “The classroom economy idea offered a way to teach young people not only the concept of financial discipline but also—very importantly—the rewards that go with it…….


“Vanguard set out to build on the ideas from Mr. Esquith’s book and to make them available, free of charge, to teachers everywhere, knowing that the more help we can provide to educators, the more they can do to teach children financial skills that can last a lifetime.”


To learn more about My Classroom Economy visit: www.myclassroomeconomy.org


My last recommendation for a fantastic free first-class financial literacy year-round education comes thanks to the work of Andy Heyward, a producer of kids online entertainment programs, and the words and wisdom of “The Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett.


The Secret Millionaires Club is a site kids of all ages will learn from particularly if they have big dreams, want to learn what it takes to start and run a successful business and how to manage people as well as finances.


What separates the Secret Millionaires Club from the Siebert and Vanguard programs is that this one teaches visually in an animated cartoony fashion via 26 different online short webisodes. Subjects range from the importance of a good business location to not prejudging anyone or anything.


Earlier this month Yahoo Finance interviewed Buffett about the Secret Millionaires Club site and asked him what the goal of the site is.


From that interview with Buffett:  “The goal has nothing to do with amassing wealth, and everything to do with helping kids understand money, and develop healthy habits from a young age. Someone once said, “the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to broken.” We’re trying to help kids develop healthy habits that will help them their whole life.”


Visit the Secret Millionaires Club at: smckids.com. To view the webisodes, visit: http://www.smckids.com/episdes/


If you take advantage of the educational offerings made available via these three programs I’ll personally guarantee these two things: First, that you’ll learn something and second, that you’ll be glad you did.

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