Free online games from ALA and the FINRA Foundation make financial literacy fun for kids
The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, has released a collection of free online games to teach children basic financial skills related to earning, saving and spending money. ‘silver.
The four interactive games – which are part of a series called Thinking Money for Kids and available at tm4k.ala.org – are designed for children aged 7 to 11, but are suitable for other ages as well. They include:
- Winning: Follow the paths of characters Grace, Emma, and Kenji to see how their childhood interests translate into successful careers and opportunities to “give back” through volunteering.
- Balance My Budget: Make choices about how to meet basic needs and splurge here and there, all within a monthly budget.
- Money Trail: From $ 500 in your bank account, make decisions on how to earn and how to spend.
- Let’s Deal: Hear from buyers and sellers at a farmers market as they trade goods and learn about money.
Library workers are encouraged to use the games for in-person or virtual programming or to share them on library websites or social media. Additional financial literacy resources for library workers, including model programs and professional development, are available at Smart invest @ your library.
The new games complement the Thinking Money for Kids traveling exhibit and allow more libraries to provide fun ways to learn about money to more families. The traveling exhibit itself is an interactive financial literacy experience for children ages 7 to 11, as well as their parents, guardians and educators. The exhibit was touring 50 U.S. public libraries in the spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a break from the tour schedule. The tour will resume when it is safe to do so.
“For nearly 15 years, the FINRA Foundation and the American Library Association have worked together to help more than 1,000 public libraries meet the financial education needs of communities across the country,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation. “During the pandemic, libraries were innovative and creative in delivering virtual programs and services for families. These new interactive games allow libraries to bring financial education straight home, with the confidence that all learning is engaging and appropriate for children. Research from the FINRA Foundation shows that adult financial literacy is on the decline in this country. To reverse this trend, it is extremely important to start financial education early. And that’s exactly what the new Thinking Money for Kids games do.
Thinking Money for Kids is administered by the Office of Public Programs at ALA. To learn more about future grants and exhibitions from the Office of Public Programs, sign up for ALA’s electronic newsletter for Programming Librarians.
ALA and the FINRA Foundation have partnered since 2007 on Smart Invest @ Your Library, a program that supports libraries’ efforts to provide patrons with effective and unbiased educational resources on personal finance and investing.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the leading national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of academic, public, school, government and specialty libraries, defending the profession and the role of the library in improving learning and access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.
About FINRA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
FINRA is a non-profit organization dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. It regulates an essential part of the securities industry: brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA, overseen by the SEC, writes rules, reviews and enforces compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws, registers and provides education and training for brokerage staff, and informs the investing public . In addition, FINRA provides oversight and other regulatory services for the equity and options markets, as well as transaction reports and other industry utilities. FINRA also operates a dispute resolution forum for investors and brokerage firms and their registered employees. For more information, visit www.finra.org.
The FINRA Foundation supports innovative research and education projects that equip underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives. For more information on FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.