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April 24, 2012


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a Dollar$ & Sense Financial Fitness Fair for sixth grade students from across the St. John Valley on Thursday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The financial fitness fair is sponsored by the UMFK and Acadia Federal Credit Union (AFCU) Financial Literacy Partnership.

Sixth grade students from Van Buren, Madawaska, and Dr. Levesque School will participate in the fair from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Sixth graders from Fort Kent, Eagle Lake, and Wallagrass will participate 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. UMFK students and AFCU staff will serve as volunteers for the fair.

Students will rotate in small groups through the stations. Every student would have the opportunity to participate in each station.

Among the activities that students will participate in, include:

Coconut Casino: Theme: Save, Spend, Invest, Share

Students will be able to identify and explain how money can be divided between saving, spending, investing, and sharing. The game leader will introduce the definition of each of the four money situations.

Saving is when you put your money in the bank so you don't use it. It is saved for future use. An example of this is putting money in a savings account so you can buy a new laptop in one year.

Spending is using your money to buy things you need and want. An example of this is buying groceries or buying clothes. You are spending money to buy them.

Investing is spending your money in order to gain more money to something else in return. An example of this is investing your money in stock in the stock market to earn more money or investing your money in a college education.

Sharing is when you give money to something that you would not necessarily gain something from. An example of this is giving to charity or buying a birthday gift for someone.

Groups will be broken into 4 to 5 teams. Each group will be dealt a hand (4 cards) of large cards – Ace's through 5. Spades = Saving; Clubs = Spending; Hearts = Investing; and, Diamonds = Sharing.

Each suit will represent one of the four money situations. In teams, students will write examples of each of the four money situations on poker chips.

The number on the card is the number of examples that need to be given.

Each group will discuss the examples given before the large group discussion that will follow.

Fishing For Your Future: Theme: Taxes, Wants, and Needs

Students will be able to identify how spending is divided between taxes wants, and needs.

Taxes are a sum of money that you pay to the government for income, property, and sales. An example of this is when you go to a restaurant; you have to pay seven percent taxes on your bill.

Wants are the things you wish you had that you do not necessarily need. An example is a new video game.

Needs are the things that you need to live. An example would be food, electricity, etc.

The leader will provide an example what a monthly budget is and what balancing it means.

A monthly budget is a financial document used to project future income and expenses. So a budget may be thought of as an action plan. Balancing a budget means not spending money over the budgeted amount.

The students will then be broken into three small groups. Each group will go fishing in each of three kiddie pools with fish in them. The fish will be labeled with examples of taxes, wants, and needs, one pool for each. The pools also will be labeled.

Student groups will be given a monthly income ($500) and must determine how much they can spend on each area – taxes, wants, and needs, based on the monetary amounts on the fish.

Each group will be given an envelope that contains a situation that will change their financial status.

o Car Breaks Down

o Raise in Rent

o Medical Bills

Each group will send one person to pick one fish from each pool, but can go back later if their budget allows. It they go over their budget, they need to make a plan on how to balance it. They will be doing these calculations on budget worksheets. The students will present budget worksheets.

Hike to Hula U:Theme: College Awareness

Students will understand key concepts and vocabulary related to college funding and attendance.

Game leader breaks students into 4 to 5 teams. A race track is laid out on the floor made up of vinyl dots. Each team will take turns rolling of giant dice.

The number on the dice corresponds to one category of college questions. Teams will answer questions and moves on spaces forward. Whoever reaches the end first, wins.

Categories include: Getting In; Paying For It; Fun & Games; Studying Hard; Playing it Safe; and, Wildcard.

Paradise Paycheck: Theme: Part-Time Jobs & Earning Money

Students will participate in a money earning obstacle course to reach an earning goal.

Saving is when you put your money in the bank so you don't use it. It is saved for future use. An example of this is putting money in a savings account so you can buy a new laptop in one year.

Students will be broken up in to 4 to 5 teams, in which they create an earnings goal. A timed obstacle course is run by representatives from each team. Do as many for one minute of each, per team, for a total of four minutes.

Obstacle Course: Students will put the handle of a spoon in their mouth. They will reach into a bag of balls and pick one. They will then put the ball on the spoon and race to the highchair with the baby in it at the other end. They will then drop the ball into the bowl, where another student will record the dollar amount that is on the ball. If the student drops the ball before reaching the end, they must return to the beginning and start over.

Paper Route: One student at a time, the team will take turns throwing rubber newspapers into the buckets. They will continue until they get one in. Each bucket will have different dollar amounts on it. The team will record the amount on the bucket they got the newspaper in.

Yard Work: One student needs to be blindfolded and when told to start, they will reach into the pool of leaves. They need to feel around for a ping-pong ball. When they find one, they are to bring it to the volunteer that is waiting for them, by way of the directions their teammates give them. The person who receives the ball will record the dollar amount written on the ping-pong ball for the team.

Family Farm: A student will sit on the floor and pick potatoes out of buckets that are filled with packing peanuts, using their feet. NO HANDS! They will then place the potato in an empty bucket, using their feet, that is a short distance away. Another student will record the dollar amount that is on the potato for the team.

Each team will add up their earnings from the obstacle course to see if they met their earning goal. If not, and if time allows, they may go back through the course to get more earnings to reach the goal. They will then bring the total to a volunteer, who will write them a check.

The team must then bring the check to the “credit union” to be deposited and to see if they correctly reached their earning goal. When they get their correct earning goal achieved, they will receive their passports.