Money Smart Chat (Read on for a Chance to Win Big!)

Forces for Good in Education and Financial Literacy:
As Told by TWO Special Guest Bloggers!


Dr. Alice Wilder: Emmy award winning Ed Psychologist and digital education specialist behind the work of Blue’s Clues, Super Why, Speakaboos, Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids, and more! Follow Alice on Twitter @alicewilder for great “edutainment.”

Danielle Robinson: Assistant Vice President of Corporate Philanthropy at Jackson National Life, Executive Director at Jackson Charitable Foundation, and advocate for financial literacy for all. Follow Danielle on Twitter @DoingGood365 for financial tips at every age!


Take a Pledge: Win Big!

Dr. Alice: We are delighted to be taking over the Discovery Education blog today because we have some BIG NEWS to share: the Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest is now officially open! Now until December 13th, we’re inviting educators and parents across the country to take a pledge to talk about and teach their kids what it means to Earn, Save, Spend and Donate – the four pillars of financial literacy. Even more exciting, there are some BIG prizes up for grabs, like $10,000 for your school plus a bonus $1,000 to donate to the charity of your school’s choice.


An Investment to Help Young Investors

Danielle: We know teaching the basics of financial literacy at a young age is critical. That’s why we’re thrilled to team up with Discovery Education and with YOU, our most important resource, for the second annual Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Pledge Challenge. During last year’s contest, I loved reading about the ways parents and teachers are already bringing money concepts to life for students. Way to go!

Our goal for this year’s contest prize money is for it to help build a brighter financial future for your students. Whether you choose to take students on a financial field trip to a local bank, purchase tablets to use to teach kids about money concepts, or start a savings club or school store for students… the possibilities are endless! PLUS – like Dr. Alice said, you can also win $1,000 for students to donate to the charity of your choice, bringing the pillar of donating to life in a meaningful, tangible way.


Dr. Alice: What will your financial literacy pledge be? Will you pledge to:

  • ensure kids know how to earn money to build the life they want
  • teach kids that saving money is an investment in their future
  • educate kids, when spending the difference between a want and a need
  • show kids that donating time and money is important to help others
  • OR share a specific idea you have to implement this pledge in your local school – we want to know!


Danielle: And there’s more good news! You don’t have to be the big winner to get started teaching these important concepts today. Ok, now I’m going to brag…. but Dr. Alice has also created some awesome “edutainment” music videos – 18 episodes in all! In these videos, the cartoon band Cha-Ching get students rockin’ and rollin’ to songs about key money concepts, a perfect way to get students excited about financial literacy learning! Without even knowing it, kids are exploring important life-long lessons in money.


Dr. Alice: Aww, thanks for the shout out, Danielle. The magic of the program though is that these videos make important financial concepts concrete for kids, allow for conversations among trusted adults, and can be extended to help kids experience the decisions and topics that the cartoon characters bring to life. Beyond the contest, Jackson Foundation and Discovery Education have also partnered to create standards- aligned activities and resources that pair with each video and give teachers, parents, families the tools they need to start students’ financial education now.


Danielle: One of my favorite parts of Cha-Ching is that it allows students to talk about using money to help others in need, under the pillar of “Donate”. Students are amazingly generous and full of great ideas on how to give back. Last year’s pledge challenge winner, St. Mary’s in Bellevue, NE, used their $1,000 donation prize money to help a charity that provides clean water in Africa called Aqua Africa. The students had been learning about the cause at school and were already supporting their work. The Cha-Ching pledge challenge donation prize money allowed them to give more.


Dr. Alice: Kids are helpers! And kids have great ideas for how to help others. The Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest is a wonderful opportunity to engage kids in the power of giving, ask kids for their ideas, and give them the experience of doing for others. Donating is a choice we all have with our money. The earlier we enable kids to exercise this choice, the better off our world will be. Kids do what they see and experience more than what they are told. It’s exciting to imagine giving kids a voice around ways to help – the possibilities are meaningful and endless. If kids’ ideas are garnered, they will forever remember this experience and the cycle of giving will begin!


Danielle: So, what are you waiting for? As the saying goes, time is money!
Take the pledge and get rocking with Cha-Ching today.



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