A national survey of young Canadians aged 17 to 20 commissioned by the B.C. Securities Commission in 2011 revealed that half of respondents were already carrying debt. That is just one statistic underlying the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education’s decision to launch an annual “Talk with Our Kids About Money Day.”
In designating the third Wednesday of April as Talk With Our Kids About Money Day, CFEE is aiming to equip young people with the confidence and competence they need to make wise financial decisions. The organization recognizes that teachers have a key role to play in helping students improve their financial literacy. To support their efforts, it has created a series of lesson plans directly linked to provincial curricula that teachers of any subject can download free of charge at http://talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com. These resources are geared especially to the Secondary I level.
Every little bit counts
This past April 16 marked the second annual Talk With Our Kids About Money Day. On that day, students from three Québec schools––Joliette High School (SWLSB), St. Paul’s High School (Littoral) and Richmond Regional High School (ETSB)––took part in a videoconference held at LEARN Québec. Presenters Alan Desnoyers from BMO Financial Group (the initiative’s sponsor) and Brian Smith, a financial literacy consultant at Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi de Côte-des-Neiges, discussed topics such as why kids might want to save money and how peer pressure and consumerism can influence their spending decisions.
“Our goal is to engage kids in conversations about money and to encourage them to ask questions and to help them learn,” says CFEE’s Jacynthe Dallaire. She is the Talk With Our Kids About Money Day coordinator for Québec.
Katherine Potter, a Secondary Cycle One teacher at Joliette High School who arranged for her students to participate in the videoconference, agrees the initiative is worthwhile. “Even younger kids have allowances, they are starting to get summer jobs and they want to save up for things,” she notes. “It’s important for them to learn that every little bit counts and that they have to make choices¬––maybe not buy candy every day, but put some money aside if they want to save up for something special.”
More about CFEE
CFEE (http://www.cfee.org) is a charitable, non-profit organization working to support improved economic and financial literacy in Canada, as well as the development of enterprising skills. The next Talk With Our Kids About Money Day will take place on April 15, 2015. For more information, contact Jacynthe Dallaire at (514) 278-8789.