Talking with kids about money to improve financial literacy is increasingly recognized as a priority, not only for Canada’s young people, but also for the future financial health of individuals, families and communities.
There is growing recognition across Canada and around the world of the correlation between financial health and physical and mental health and well-being. Many Canadians of all ages are struggling with stress, anxiety and feeling out of control in managing their financial affairs. The TWOKAM program helps to engage parents and teachers in talking with youth about money. It can help prepare youth to manage their financial futures and avoid the stresses faced by so many Canadians today. And teachers and parents are listening– and getting involved.
In 2018, over 7,000 teachers, over 650,000 students and many more thousands of youth and parents participated in Talk With Our Kids About Money Day (TWOKAM Day). The educational program, created by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and supported by Scotiabank, is celebrating its seventh anniversary. The TWOKAM program started in 2013 as a pilot in Toronto and Montreal area schools and has since expanded to include schools and homes right across Canada as educators, parents and guardians recognized the need to improve the financial capability of young Canadians. Initially, the program designated one day a year, as an easy way to get the talks started. Starting as a catalyst to ignite interest and initiate the “fires” started and spread.
The TWOKAM program now runs all year long, with teachers and parents continuously accessing the free and easy to use resources. There will continue to be the one big day of celebration each year which takes place the third Wednesday every April. Talking about money is the first step to improving financial capability– and this is so important for young Canadians to head into their futures with confidence and competence.
To support all those who want to get involved, CFEE has created a comprehensive website – www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com – that provides parents, guardians, teachers and anyone else interested with resources they can easily use to have money talks with kids. Best of all, thanks to Scotiabank, TWOKAM is free and available in French and English.
In addition to the money talks in homes and schools, money fairs, proclamations and special events are being held in communities across Canada throughout April to commemorate TWOKAM Day. The program’s national showcase event this year is a Money Fair hosted by Scotiabank at the Scotia Plaza in downtown Toronto. Among the featured guests at the event are representatives of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and Toronto Maple Leafs Alumnus, Darcy Tucker.
“Research has indicated a link between debt-related stress and poor mental health among adults. Engaging with kids early to improve their financial literacy has the potential to positively impact their well-being over time,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, Senior Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH.
Talk with our Kids About Money Day – Supported by Scotiabank (CNW Group/Scotiabank)