Teach Children to Save is a national initiative created by the American Bankers Association that helps children understand the basics of personal finance through classroom visits and activities. 

Kansas City Office

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In Kansas City, Teach Children to Save is a key part of the annual Money Smart Month of Greater Kansas City campaign that occurs every April. The program enables the Federal Reserve to partner with local financial institutions and other organizations to provide classroom-ready, literature-based lessons about savings and money management to area elementary students, kindergarten through third grade.

In 2017, 167 volunteers visited 320 classrooms in 120 schools, reaching approximately 6,800 students throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Each visit includes a children's story, a hands-on activity and takeaways for the students and their teachers. The story component of the lesson correlates to the reading requirement within elementary-level classrooms.

Program Schedule:

  • January-February: Teacher registration
  • March-April: Volunteer registration and class selection
  • Mid-April: Volunteer training and lesson material distribution
  • April 16-30: Classroom visits

Get Involved

Teachers

Teach Children to Save is a free classroom-ready program for Kansas City metro schools that requires no preparation or work on your part. Volunteers are trained and bring all necessary materials to the classroom.

Each lesson last approximately 45 minutes and correlates to the Kansas and Missouri state standards in economics for grades K-3 as follows:

  • Individuals must make choices
  • Money is used in exchange for goods and services; bartering
  • Benefits of saving money in a bank
  • Costs and benefits of spending and saving decisions

Register your kindergarten through third grade class.

Volunteers

Employees of the Federal Reserve and financial institutions in the Kansas City metropolitan area may volunteer for any number of classrooms at no cost. Training and all necessary materials are provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Register to volunteer in a classroom now.

Lesson Overview

Kindergarten Lesson

Just Saving My Money by Mercer Mayer: In this lesson, students will listen to a story about a little critter who learns about saving, income and savings goals. Students will participate in a game that focuses on earning income to reach a savings goal and a coin identification and counting activity. Skills used will include simple addition, writing number sentences and drawing savings goals.

1st Grade Lesson

Start Saving, Henry! by Nancy Carlson: In this lesson, students will listen to a story about a mouse named Henry who learns about saving, spending and savings goals. Students will participate in activities that track Henry’s spending and saving habits, identify short vs. long-term goals and a coin identification and counting activity. Skills used will include simple addition, reading comprehension and drawing of savings goals.

2nd Grade Lesson

Berenstain Bears Trouble With Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain: In this lesson, students will listen to a story about Brother and Sister Bear as they learn about saving, income, banks and interest. Students will participate in activities about earning income, understanding money figures of speech and coin identification and counting. Skills used will include simple addition, reading comprehension, solving word puzzles and establishing savings goals.

3rd Grade Lesson

Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell: In this lesson, students learn about saving, savings goals and the role of banks in reaching savings goals. In the story, a barber saves enough money to buy his own barbershop despite significant obstacles. The student activities include mathematical problem solving and critical thinking tied to savings goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do the lessons last?

Each lesson should last approximately 45 minutes. The lesson includes a story, hands-on activities and the distribution of takeaways for each student.

Which books are being used for the lessons?

See above for a list of lessons for grades K-3.

Can classrooms be combined for a visit?

Yes, but all classes should be registered to participate so that there will be enough materials for every student and teacher.

Do I need to prepare anything for the visit?

There is no preparation or work for the teacher although the use of a whiteboard and/or document camera may come in handy for the lesson. Students may need something to write with for the lesson activities. Volunteers will receive all necessary materials in advance from the Federal Reserve as well as online training.

Are lessons available for other grades?

This program only focuses on kindergarten-third grade lessons. You can, however, find our free children's literature-based lessons and other resources tied to economics and personal finance for grades K-12 on our website at any time.

What do I do if I've registered to participate and I can no longer do so?

Email us at tcts@kc.frb.org as soon as possible so alternate arrangements can be made.

Will wait listed classes get a volunteer?

We will do our best to find a volunteer for all classes; however, it volunteers aren't available, we encourage the use of our complimentary resources at www.FederalReserveEducation.org. Efforts to match classes with volunteers will be made up until the program dates in late April.

Can I volunteer for a specific classroom?

Yes, if the class is kindergarten through 3rd grade and the teacher registers to participate. If your desired teacher does not register, additional volunteers are needed for wait listed classes.

Is volunteer training required?

Volunteer training is easy and convenient and done online. You'll be able to access lesson demonstrations, get information about picking up materials, checklists, frequently asked questions and more. Volunteers will receive an email with more information about training.

Contact Us

For questions or more information, email tcts@kc.frb.org.