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Michigan Credit Union League

Youngsters Learn About Spending at Money Smart Week Event

Melissa Voss, a financial service representative at Isabella Community CU, reads the Berenstain Bears’ Dollar$ and $en$e to youngsters at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe library.

MOUNT PLEASANT – Melissa Voss knows that when she was a young person, if she got any money, she just had to spend it.

These days, Voss, a financial service representative at Isabella Community CU, enjoys talking to young people about how they can make money work for them. That’s why she was eager to visit the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe Library to talk to the youngsters about money as part of Money Smart Week. She was there to read a copy of the Berenstain Bears’ Dollar$ and $en$e, which were provided by Michigan’s credit unions.

“What do you guys know about money?” Voss asked the youngsters gathered at the library. “It’s easy to spend, but it’s hard to keep it.”

She talked about how, many years ago, people would trade things as a form of payment, before monetary systems were instituted.

Today, managing money is a little easier because of banks and credit unions.

All of the kids at event got a small piggy bank with a coupon good for $5 – enough for them to open an account at the credit union.

Voss said having a place to keep money makes it easier to save. One young man in the audience agreed.

“I give it to my mom and dad so that I don’t see it,” the youngster said.

After reading the book, a tribal volunteer gave the children a lesson on money in their native Ojibwa language.

Afterward, Voss said children need to know about money. The credit union can help.

“I love working with kids,” she said. “(The schools) don’t really tell them the purpose of money.”

Anne Heidemann, tribal education librarian, said when she heard about Money Smart Week, she was supportive of having an event at the library.

“We know money and financial awareness are really important to them,” Heidemann said.

She added that the library was hosting an open house later in the week where library users could come in and talk to financial tribal financial experts.

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2015-04-27 00:00:00