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Smart cookies: Girl Scouts partners with local nonprofit on financial literacy

FitMoney teaches girl scouts money and financial literacy skills to earn badges

Girl Scouts in Eastern Massachusetts are learning more about money in this cookie-selling season.

FitMoney, a Newton-based nonprofit, has recently teamed up with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to provide them with financial literacy lessons and opportunities to earn Girl Scout Financial Literacy Badges through FitMoney’s interactive online curriculum.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts represents 19,000 youth members in 178 communities and looks to help girls build courage, confidence, and character. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is intended to teach budgeting, teamwork, innovative thinking, and decision making. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts began their cookie-selling season on Dec. 6, and it runs through March 10.

Working with Girl Scouts came naturally to FitMoney’s executive director Jessica Pelletier, who believes the two organizations’ values align well.

“We, as a nonprofit, are always looking for other likeminded nonprofits and organizations that believe passionately not only in financial literacy but real world skills for children,” Pelletier said.

The lessons are tailored to different age groups. For example, younger troops — in kindergarten through third grade — will learn about what money is and determine the difference between needs and wants. They will also learn how to spend, save, and share money.

Kids in fourth through eighth grade will learn how to earn money and invest, while also digging deeper into saving and budgeting.

The lessons are primarily led by the troop leaders, but FitMoney provides them with animated videos from its website that they can watch together as a group or at home. There are also worksheets and opportunities for discussion.

“We wanted to really just empower troop leaders to be able to deliver this content, so they have the flexibility to do it however works for them,” Pelletier said.

The Girl Scout Cookie program is a chance for troops to build off the excitement of selling cookies and connect it with managing money, said Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts volunteer Calista Maharaj. Teaming up with FitMoney provides a “fun, engaging, and user-friendly” approach for the troops to earn financial badges and build financial literacy.

Founded in 2016 by a group of parents, educators, and entrepreneurs, FitMoney aims to provide students and families with free, unbiased financial literacy programs. Research from FitMoney shows financial behaviors are formed by age 7. What distinguishes FitMoney from other organizations, Pelletier said, is that it introduces conversations about money as early as in kindergarten to empower children with personal finance tools.

“It’s somewhat shocking to your average adult that kids that young are actually already really engaged in money topics,” Pelletier said.


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