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Financial Literacy Lessons Offered to Kids at Local Libraries

Employees of Community Financial Credit Union help unload donated copies of the book "Bunny Money" at the Novi library, one of many Money Smart Kids Read locations. (B. Troost/MCUL)
Employees of Community Financial Credit Union help unload donated copies of the book "Bunny Money" at the Novi library, one of many Money Smart Kids Read locations. (B. Troost/MCUL)
April 11, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - It's never too early to begin learning how to manage your money. That's the message credit unions hope to foster this month, and they're starting with the youngest Michiganders.

The book "Bunny Money" by Rosemary Wells is more than just a nicely illustrated children's story, it can also be a tool to educate kids about the value of money and how to budget.

Beth Troost, financial education manager for the Michigan Credit Union League, says this month, Michigan credit unions will donate more than 7,500 copies of the book to local libraries, to help parents and caregivers open the dialogue.

"It's one of those topics that they shy away from, thinking that it's either too advanced or too worrisome," says Troost. "But familiarizing children with money is something that if you start it at a young age, it will become more natural for them to be inquisitive about it as they get older."

The program, called Money Smart Kids Read, will take place April 23 - 30, as part of Money Smart Week.

More than 200 libraries across the state will host story-time events, and participating families will get a copy of the book to keep.

More information is at MoneySmartWeek.org.

Troost says while Money Smart Week only comes once a year, financial education is an important part of the credit union philosophy for members of all ages.

She says the lessons kids learn about money can carry them far into the future.

"What does it mean? What is it worth? You give money and then you get something back in return," says Troost. "But also you can save your money up for something larger in the future. And then there's the concept of needs and wants, and is this something I really want or something I need or something I might want to save up for."

While "Money Smart Kids Read" is aimed at those under age seven, Troost adds there are financial education and money-management events and seminars for people of all ages taking place during Money Smart Week.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI