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May 25, 2012

How to tell if you are financially literate

Do you know how to pinch pennies and save wisely? Well, if you don’t you might learn some ‘money sense’ from Unity Presbyterian Primary on Antelope Street Extension. Since last year the school has been a part of a financial literacy pilot project. The school got onboard the program called ‘Project Belize’ launched by Price Waterhouse, a top accountancy firm. Ten schools, including high schools and primary were engaged in a summer camp in the summer of 2011, where they learned about the basics of saving and maximizing the buying power of the dollar. Teachers were also trained to implement the financial literacy programs at their school. This morning the students proudly showed off the many creative ways on how to make some bucks. News Five’s Andrea Polanco also got a lesson on how to spend on needs and not wants.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Over the past nine months, students from infant one through to standard six from the Unity Presbyterian Primary School have been learning how to understand finance. The management of their daily dollar or twenty five cents has taught them how to save and even how to turn those pennies into income generating projects. The need for the programme was visible at the school:

 

Irma Vernon

Irma Vernon, Infant II Teacher, Unity Presbyterian

“Financial literacy is just basically teaching the children ‘money sense’; teaching the children how to earn and make money and how  spend money wisely and how to teach them the value of money so that when they go to buy, how to teach them how to choose between needs and wants when spending their money.”

 

The infant two students transformed plastic bottles into wine glasses. The income from the sales will be banked and turn-over for another project at next year’s literacy fair:

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, Cynthia you’re going to teach us how to make wine glass today?”

 

Cynthia Guerra

Cynthia Guerra, Student, Infant II

“Yes.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so let’s start.”

 

Cynthia Guerra

“Making wine glass; Materials: plastic bottles, scissors, glue gun, glue stick, paint, paint brushes, small dishes, ribbons, water, basin, tape. Procedures: collect plastic bottles, put water in basin and wash and drain them and cut bottles in half and drain them. Glue the two pieces of glass together and line the mouth of glass with tape leaving a small space at the top. Paint the mouth of glass and remove the tape and cut ribbon and tie a bow around the glass. These are the materials that we used and this is the finished product. I am representing the class of Infant II.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“All right so you had fun making your wine glass?”

 

Cynthia Guerra

“Yes.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And how much are you selling your wine glass for?”

 

Cynthia Guerra

“Three dollars.”

 

Andrew Emmanuel

The students of Infant 1 made desk organizers, whilst the older students of standards three and five used their creativity in art and food; not losing sight of the importance of saving and spending wisely:

 

Andrew Emmanuel, Infant I

“We put glue pahn it then we decorate it with glitters and then we put it pahn wah table because we wah sell it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“All right and how much you di sell yours fah?”

 

Andrew Emmanuel

“One, two three…one dollar.”

 

Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia, Student,  Standard III

“Miss, ih teach you bout Maths and how fi calculate yuh money and thing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So you’ve been spending your wisely since you’ve been learning about it?”

 

Chris Garcia

“Yes, miss.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know that today as a part of the fair, you made something to sell. You want to tell me about it?”

 

Chris Garcia

“Yes, I made a bookmark.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Tell me what all you learn so far about spending your money wisely?”

 

Karen Robateau

Karen Robateau, Student, Standard III

“How to handle your money and you handle your money by spending it wisely.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So when you bring your dolla dah school weh you do with it? You buy lone ideal?”

 

Karen Robateau

“No, I spend fifty cents and save fifty cents.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Has business been good so far? People coming to buy your grill dogs?”

 

Cesar Arenivar, Student, Standard IV

“Yes ma’am.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So how much a grill dog going for today? How much ih cost?”

 

Cesar Arenivar

Cesar Arenivar

“One dollar with just the sausage and with tortilla it’s one fifty.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So now at the end of the day, after you guys are finished  with making of the food and sell out everything, what are you guys going to do with the money?”

 

Cesar Arenivar

“Maybe put it for the light or things for the classroom.”

 

The project targets the entire student body the youngest to the eldest. Vernon says we can all learn a lesson from this initiative:

 

Irma Vernon

“Yes, we are starting it from infant one right through to standard six because they are the cream of the crop or the core of the school and once you start out anything, not only this project. When you start out in anything, you start out with the younger ones and as it goes higher and higher, they will take that with them. What we are thinking about doing right now is to do workshops with the parents to teach them these values because it’s a good thing for them to learn; a good value for them to apply to their lives every day and even us as adults, we need it.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

The products remaining from today’s fair will be available for sale next week.

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