Randallstown Elementary School students receive hands on lesson in finances

Randallstown, Md - It's not your average day in Mrs. Wertz's class at Randallstown Elementary School with Baltimore County Public Schools.  Students are learning about the value of money.

"It's hard saving money because when you go to the store it's like I want that and for me, I'm just going to buy it.  I don't think about how saving my money can really help me," said Kelese Cosby, fourth grade student.

Students are participating in the Operation Hope Banking On Our Future Program.  It's a financial literacy course for students in third to 12th grades. 

Operation Hope teamed up with student volunteers from Stevenson University for the program.

"It's very important for these students to understand about financial literacy.  They need to know how to balance a checkbook and how to manage a savings account," said Jennifer Jackowski, Junior at Stevenson University.

Students also learn about financial needs versus wants and how to save money.

"These young people just spend and they don't know the difference between a want and a need.  We want to talk to them about knowing the difference and putting away for emergencies," said Dionne Waldron, Program Manager with Operation Hope.

Students worked on group assignments coming up with a monthly spending budget.  They caught on pretty quickly about stretching a dollar.

"In life you earn a certain amount of money.  You need to spend it on needs.  You need to spend it on your bills, food and water," said Kathryn Chrzanowski, fourth grade student.

Mrs. Wertz says a course on finances is nothing new for her students.

"It's in the Baltimore County curriculum in Economics and the Social Studies program.  My children have a little background on the importance of saving," says Corrine Wertz, fourth grade teacher.

Students learned about dignity, managing a budget, checking and savings accounts and the power of credit.

"It's not easy living off of a little bit of money when you have so many bills to pay.  I never realized how much it all is," said Cosby.

April is Financial Literacy Month.  Operation Hope wants to visit 20 schools and educate 5,500 students on finances in the Baltimore area.

More than 1,300 students have been educated on finances this month.


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