ST. JOHNSBURY -- As part of a statewide initiative to encourage parents to teach their kids about money, St. Johnsbury School will host the first Money Smart Child parent workshop on Nov. 16 from 5:30-7 p.m.

In September, the State Treasurer's Office, along with the Vermont Jump$tart Coalition and People's United Bank announced that they had partnered to reach more than 11,000 Vermont families with resources parents can use to instruct their children about money. Fifty-seven elementary, middle school and high schools located throughout the state are distributing free copies of the booklet, "How to Raise a Money Smart Child -- A Parent's Guide" to the parents of their students. As part of the initiative, six regional workshops are scheduled for the upcoming school year. St. Johnsbury School is the first school to conduct the session.

"We think offering parent enrichment workshops like this support our school's goal of creating an environment where our students can flourish both academically and socially," said St. Johnsbury School Principal Bernice Burroughs. "In these economically challenging times, it's doubly important that parents talk with their children about finances -- reassuring them about their own family situation and explaining the basics of money management."

The free workshop will examine five core areas of financial education; provide specific parent/child exercises in spending choices, budgeting, credit, and saving; and promote parents supporting one another in working with their children. The workshop will be facilitated by representatives of the Money Smart Child partnership. Free child care and pizza will be provided, along with the opportunity for a participating parent to win a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of his or her choice.

Other regional workshops will be held in Swanton, Colchester, Barre, Salisbury and Ludlow. The Money Smart Child initiative is underwritten by People's United Bank. The 14-page guide was written by the national Jump$tart Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources.

"People typically don't like to talk about their personal finances," said Lisa Helme, director of financial literacy and communications for the State Treasurer's Office. "Parents may feel that they are not managing their own finances perfectly and are hesitant to try and teach their children. This workshop will encourage parents to talk to their kids, show how to take advantage of teachable moments to convey basic financial information, and give parents specific, hands-on activities they can do with their children."

The workshop is open to the public. To sign-up for the workshop, contact Bernice Burroughs at (802) 748-8912, ext. 1162 or via email at Pre-registration is encouraged by Nov. 14.


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