Day In the Park is an event annually held in Hopedale MA. During this time many local vendors set up booths in order to fill Hopedale Park with games for all ages, delicious cuisine, music and class fundraisers. The variety of booths and sense of community attract those of all ages.
The FinFit team realizing that the event attracted the entirety of the Hopedale community as well as surrounding ones, decided to attend. We made sure to purchase a booth slot next to our Hopedale DECA one which sold school merchandise. Then we planned a way to successfully integrate the education into a booth that would engage children of all ages.
At our booth we comprised a pile of Financial Literacy questions categorizing them by grade level. The kids would spin the "wheel of fortune" and then answer a question accordingly. Once answered correctly the person was given a FinFit4Life prize or their choice of neon slap on bracelet.
In order to assure that we reached as many demographics as possible a QR code was posted on our booth for people to fill out a survey. Once completed their name would be entered into a raffle to win various gift cards.
We firmly believe that our booth helped educate children in a fun and innovative way. By having the survey present for the older generation to complete we were able to expand our analysis to various demographics.
Along with a few DECA officers, we spent a day up at the elementary school. During our time there we primarily worked with the 5th and 6th graders in order to help educate them on financial literacy tips. As well as to teach them the importance of money management.
In order to make sure that we were not distributing any important class times or MCAS prep we contacted the principle as well as the 5th and 6th grade teachers. Once we chose a date that commendated everyone, we then came up with a lesson plan. Our lessons revolved around the topics of budgeting and realizing the difference between one's needs and wants.
The day of the event, two highschool students went into each 5th and 6th grade classroom and presented a slideshow presentation to go along with the lesson plan. Many hands on activities such as counting monopoly money, and noticing the fluctuation of interest with jelly beans kept the kids interested and active throughout the entire time.
After the session had ended each student got an take-home folder that included activity that they can do at home, as well as a description of the event for their parents to look over.
Bringing financial literacy lessons to the elementary school helped further educate the younger generation on how to have healthy money management skills.
Advisory sessions are a period of time in which students go to their assigned classrooms and have the opportunity to talk about importance topics. Topics including bullying, random acts of kindness, SATs / ACTs, and applying for college all have been covered. These sessions take place one a month and is seen as a time in which students can relax and talk freely with each other.
The first step was to talk to our Guidance Department along with our Principle, in order to make sure that we would not be intruding on an essential session. After picking out the date we then started to promote our meeting with the students through social media, the digital bulletin board, and e-blasts. We wanted to make sure that students knew that the next advisory session would be focused on preparing them for the FINFIT Fair.
Since we would be holding two advisory sessions we chose to create a slide show presentation for each one. The first session talked about the history of the FINFIT Fair, the date, proper attire, and times. It also included brief information on the different types of employment forms such as the W-2 and the W-4.
The second advisory went more in depth of the type of forms they will be receiving at the fair in order to answer any questions the students may have. These forms included a budget sheet with their income and taxes, a spending plan and finally their 401k.
At the end of each session a Kahoot was played, reviewing the purposes of each form in order to ensure that the students where confident in their understanding of the fair materials.
Once the two advisory sessions where finished many students came up to the pair of DECA members in their room presenting the information and told them that they now feel more confident with the Fair itself. It is daunting when you are given forms that you have never seen before, but we believe that it is better that they familiarize themselves with it now in a simulation rather than later on in the real world.
Back to School Night is an annual event at Hopedale High School. At this event parents of the students can meet teachers that their kids may have, as well as seeing what clubs and groups the school has to offer. In addition, the parents get a chance to meet the Principal along with the Superintendent and listen to them speak about core values practiced at our school.
As a FinFit team we came to the realization that this a prime opportunity to reach out the parents and teachers of Hopedale and inform them about the fair itself. We also viewed this event as a opportunity to further promote the importance of Financial Literacy.
We set up a small booth with a poster giving background information for the fair, including dates, times, proper attire etc. We also set up a donation program in which parents who felt strongly about our fair and its purpose can generously donate to the 2018-2019 Fair.
After talking to many parents and community members at the event, we received an abundance of positive feedback. Calling the fair an "important and essential event for both the students and the community” - Vincent Manoli.