Finance Mastery Carnival
Our Finance Advisory Team (FAT) just got fatter! We were an exceptionally strong team with Sam and May Yit. Now we are an invincible team with the addition of three other amazingly brilliant volunteers; Amanda, Adeline and Yong.
The first challenge thrown to the newly fortified team was the running of carnival styled booths with the mission of educating kids on finance and money. It was a tall order considering that we did not have much time to plan and we have to make it really interesting and engaging so as to complement the bouncy castle and the other cool booths on that day. The team circulated awesome ideas and then went about to see to its execution like a well-oiled machine.
We had three clusters of booths where the kids could earn, invest and spend. The energy on that day was sky high with volunteers from other teams and even SGAssist supporting us. Kudos to the popcorn and candy floss vendors who graciously agreed to get the kids to redeem their snacks only with tokens instead of giving them free-flow access.
The kids were gingerly checking out the ‘Shopping’ booth where the redeemable items were laid out. When asked which items attract them, most replied in a soft defeated voice. “I do not have money.”
These kids felt an immediate sense of empowerment when they are referred to the ‘Earning’ booths where their participation could earn them chips of various denominations. They are no longer dependent on others to provide for them; they can now rely on their own initiatives. We even had a ‘Public Speaking’ booth where they can earn chips by speaking for three minutes. We wanted them to understand that talents come in many forms and speaking confidently is a skill that is valuable indeed.
Another big win for the team was the fact that the kids had a taste of investments. Now, they understand that they can buy and sell shares. They also started to take notice of the differences in the companies that offered those shares. It was also interesting to note that the kids were able to delay their gratification and chose to invest their money instead of spending them first. At the final closing of our stock exchange, the kids were proud of themselves as they compared their earnings with each other.
Their smug look and their elevated sense of accomplishment as they redeem their chosen items made it all worthwhile for us. We know that they will now pay greater attention to financial news and at least have an inkling of what a stock market is. We really cannot wait to build on their newfound knowledge and experiences.