Money Smart week prepares kids for future finances | Guest column

by Rachel Newcombe

Special to the Sounder

It is never too late or too early to begin teaching children about money. Creatively  exposing  children to age appropriate concepts about money is how a financial education  takes hold. I am sure there are many of us who heard our parents exclaim, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”  But what on earth does such an abstract cliché mean to a child? It certainly made no sense to me. However, my younger brother was curious about this phrase and spent many Saturdays in our local park hunting for money trees. I should mention this younger brother of mine is now a partner in an accounting firm in New York City.

Orcas Island Public Library is excited to include the island’s youth in Money Smart Week, a program that was developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and promoted by the FED of Chicago. This program is now partnered with the American Library Association. The Orcas Island Public Library will be hosting Money Smart Week from April 23 to 28.

Children’s librarian Nita Couchman tells me: “On Saturday, April 21 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., there will be a special story time and craft activity around the theme of being ‘money smart’ for kids.”

There will  also be events for adults. Some of the topics are:  understanding and improving your credit score, credit repair and debt elimination, retirement planning, budgeting and savings, first time home buyers and reverse mortgages.

There will be presenters from Key Bank, Islanders Bank and the Washington State Department of Financial Intuitions. The programs will occur during the day and there will also be early evening seminars. All classes are free.

There will be sign-up sheets at the library. We encourage you to check for up to date information. We thank Mary Pugh the library’s financial and accounting wizard for bringing Money Smart Week to the Orcas community.

Newcombe is an Orcas library trustee