Making Sense of Your Cents

GEAR UP SATURDAY WORKSHOP – “Financial Literacy” Summary



The goal of the Financial Literacy workshop was to inform students of the importance managing money properly.  In order to achieve this goal, an interactive monetary activity was thought to be effective.  The activity consisted of five stations labeled with relevant expenses for college students, multiple scenarios regarding each station, and the monetary amounts for each item.  In preparation for this idea, one facilitator or senior staff was assigned to each station.  Their main objective was to encourage and educate the students on the items at each station in regards to the monetary amount each student received.  The students were given scenario checklists, balance sheets and starting scenarios.  The students were to go to each station and make a choice; based on how much money they were given, whether to purchase inexpensive, moderate or expensive items.  After the “purchase” of an item from a station, they were to record the monetary amount of the item on the balance sheet.  Finally, after visiting each station and making all purchases, they were to calculate the final amount (no calculators).  The purpose of using no calculators was to help the students, either to do mental math or improve basic mathematical computations.


Before the final activity, students were given information from TIP/Financial representative, Flora Boles. Ms. Boles educated the students on new regulations and changes to how financial aid would affect them in the future.  Some students seemed to be engrossed in the information presented to them, as well as parents.  After the presentation from Ms. Boles, the students were split into three groups and rotated between lunch, videos, and video discussions.  The videos were about Bill Cosby teaching Theo about finances and life after high school.  There were three videos that facilitators discussed with the students to bring overall meaning and experiences to the activity.


While monitoring the progress students were making during the money managing activity, it was noted that they were having a great time!  The students were trying to figure out how much money they could save at one station to spend more on something they wanted at another station.  This serves as a great life skill for the students because they were observed helping each other out in situations, in terms of “shopping” together and helping decide what would be best with the amount they received.  It can also be noted that students who made the scenarios seem like real life, thoroughly enjoyed and got something out of the activity.