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financial literacy

EconReads brings financial fairy tales to life for young students in Kingman

Posted 5/17/24

Consumers, producers, and opportunity costs, oh my!

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financial literacy

EconReads brings financial fairy tales to life for young students in Kingman

Posted

Consumers, producers, and opportunity costs, oh my!

Economics is not scary to the kindergarten and first-grade students at Cerbat Elementary School in Kingman, Arizona.

Twenty community volunteers from across Arizona stepped into classrooms to provide a unique experience for nearly 300 young students, May 14. These volunteers, along with the eager students and their dedicated teachers, participated in a program called EconReads.

The EconReads program, created and organized by Phoenix-based Arizona Council on Economic Education, offers an opportunity for community volunteers to engage primary grade students through storytelling. These readers do not just share captivating books; they also weave in valuable lessons about economics and personal finance, transforming learning into an entertaining adventure.

Imagine a world where the concepts of economics come alive through fairy tales. By starting at an early age, integrating these principles, and connecting them with stories that children love, students begin developing their financial literacy skills. This is a first step in empowering students to become wise and responsible individuals, better prepared to navigate the world around them. And so, with a sprinkle of economic magic, the children at Cerbat Elementary embark on a journey toward a future filled with knowledge and confidence.

During the EconReads session, volunteers read the book “An Orange in January” to the kindergarten classes and the book “Gator, Gator, Second Grader” to the first-grade classes. After the books were read and discussed, the students engaged in hands-on lesson activities led by the volunteers. These activities taught students economic concepts like consumers, producers, choices, and opportunity costs.

City of Kingman employee Calista Matthews said the program was very beneficial for everyone involved.

"The students were engaged and excited to meet new people, and they were very excited to learn about economics,” she said.

Thanks to a grant from Arizona Humanities, all classroom teachers whose students took part in the program received a new copy of the book and its accompanying lesson plan and economic activity.

The volunteers for this session attracted local volunteers such as city of Kingman employees, student groups and staff from Mohave Community College, in addition to individuals from the Phoenix. Several representatives from the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff also attended. Even the principal of Cerbat Elementary, Russ Skubal, took part in the event.

At the conclusion of the session, Kingman employee Katie Barthlow said she was thankful for the program.

“I just want to thank you so much for bringing the EconReads program to Kingman," she said. "I feel deeply moved by this experience. The kids were excited, receptive, and engaged. Such a fun and worthwhile experience!”

The Arizona Council on Economic Education is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to entrepreneurship, economic and financial literacy, and workforce development in Arizona.

Visit azecon.org to learn more about ACEE.