Students learn financial concepts

Published 10:19 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

Young students from Portsmouth and Suffolk are learning about financial responsibility with a football twist in Suffolk this week.

Bayport Credit Union teamed with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Virginia to hold the annual Financial Football Camp at John F. Kennedy Middle School this week from Monday to Thursday. Boys and Girls Club members from Suffolk and Portsmouth school will meet at the school Monday through Thursday to learn how to be responsible with money.

“We want to come in and provide a personal finance overview for what they can expect when they manage their own money,” said Kris Moore, financial education supervisor with Bayport Credit Union of Greater Hampton Roads.

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With the help of youth financial educator Becca Graca and summer intern Maegan Kranz, Moore taught the children the importance of banking and financial literacy. They asked them questions about cash flow and expenses, and for every correct answer, the children received fake money.

These fake dollars could be spent on prizes throughout the week, such as toys and candy. The students, however, had the option of saving their money from Monday for potentially better prizes later in the week.

“When I save it, I can use it in the future,” said 11-year-old Jhordan Alexander, a sixth-grader at John F. Kennedy Middle School. “It teaches me how to save it.”

Football terminology is used in each of the lessons Monday through Wednesday, and the finale on Thursday will have the Boys and Girls Club members compete against each other in a Super Bowl matchup.

The children will play the Financial Football computer game on The game is a collaboration between the National Football League and Visa, and has players gain passing and rushing yards and score touchdowns by correctly answering financial questions of various difficulties.

The Suffolk Boys & Girls Club members will be the Steelers NFL team, while the Portsmouth members will be the Cowboys. All children will receive T-shirts, drawstring bags and pizza at the Thursday finale.

“All kids love games,” said LaMarr Coles III, Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Virginia Suffolk Unit director. “It’s more hands-on, it’s a little more practical, and who doesn’t love some football?”

Alexander, a Cowboys fan, enjoys the football aspect of the lessons. He was surprised by how much he enjoyed the first day, and has learned how saving money will help him when he’s older.

“I could buy a house and cars,” he said.

Raiynah Smith, a 12-year-old eighth-grader at William E. Waters Middle School in Portsmouth, learned the difference between something you need versus something you want.

“You need a house or an apartment, but you don’t need an X-Box,” Smith said.

The financial lessons these children will receive by the end of the program are meant to stay with them into adulthood.

“They’ll be able to manage their money, to understand the difference between what they need and what they want, and to understand wealth is in investing and having your money work for you,” Coles said.