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Elementary students learn financial literacy

Elementary students learn financial literacy. (ABC7)

Fourth graders at Vienna Elementary School in Northern Virginia are learning the fundamentals of finance. 11-year old Anthony Simms shared his newly-gained financial wisdom.

"You have to spend your money on the things you need first and you can save your money for the things you want in the future."

It's something Simms didn't give much thought to until he completed a computer program called Vault. Fourth Grader Lucy Griepentrog explained, "Vault is a game that helps you understand your money and what to do with it."

Jason Adams, a parent at Vienna and certified financial planner with UBS helped bring the educational program to the school. "Everything from budgeting, gifting, spending habits, a whole host of money concepts," he offered.

Ten-year old Zara Javeri just completed her Vault certification.

"The biggest thing I learned about money on this is health insurance. I had no clue about it before."

Certification requires mastery in six areas: Responsible Money Choices, Income and Careers, Making Plans with Money, Credit and Borrowing, Insurance and Safety, and Savings and Investing.

Tim Scessney is a school-based technology specialist who guides students through the lessons.

"If we can empower them with vocabulary to help them understand the process of credit and borrowing I think it will impact them as they look to college and beyond," he stated.

Simms receives money on special holidays and already has plans for it. "I'm going to save it for the future," he shared.

Javeri now has a budget for her $2 a week allowance. "I use a budget and actually spend how much I want using that budget so I don't lose all my money for spending things," she said. A new approach to handling money that will hopefully be habit-forming.

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