Kateri Catholic Academy teaches kids how to manage money and stay out of the dog house
Fifth and sixth grade students at Kateri Catholic Academy will learn to stay out of the financial “dog house” when Mrs. Kristin Dobrovic, CPA and Vice President of Finance at Kateri Catholic Academy and Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School visits their class on Nov. 9, 2011.
Dobrovic will lead students in a fun and competitive game called FETCH!®, which stands for Financial Education Teaches Children Healthy Habits®. The program is sponsored by The Ohio Society of CPAs and The Ohio CPA Foundation, and is being presented in more than 300 classrooms today by CPAs and volunteers across Ohio.
FETCH! teaches children basic money management skills so they are better equipped to make responsible financial decisions as adults. The game is set in a dog park where teams of students own a fictional pet and are tasked with its’ care, feeding and financial responsibility.
With each roll of the dice, Dobrovic will coach students on how to use their math skills and devise strategies to stay out of debt and put more money in the bank. They soon learn the responsibility isn’t just a walk in the park and the game often imitates life.
First you have to earn money to buy the basics- a leash, bowl and a bone. If Fido learns a new trick or wins first place in the dog show, you earn cash for your savings account. But if your dog is naughty, you might have to pay to fix the neighbor's fence. And if Fido gets sick, the vet bills can put your bank account further in the red and delay plans to start your pet sitting business.
The team that ends the game with the most money in the bank, and the most items for their pooch, wins.
“FETCH! is a fun way to teach children the relationship between smart spending and saving for their future goals,” said Kristin Dobrovic . “It’s built on a simple concept, yet requires students to make decisions that have consequences they can understand, just like in real life.”
The lesson couldn't be timelier as families across Ohio continue to struggle to meet their basic needs. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, in 2011, 40 percent of U.S. families spend more money than they earn.
A 2011 Gallup poll randomly surveyed 1,721 US-American students in grades 5-12 and found that the majority had goals and desires to start and run a business, but only half of the students attended schools that offer classes on how to do so.
FETCH! teaches students important budgeting and cash management skills that can be used in everyday life or to start their very first business.
FETCH! was created in 2010 by The Ohio Society of CPAs and its charitable affiliate, The Ohio CPA Foundation with guidance from elementary teachers and a curriculum developer. It includes a testing component to determine if students have mastered a basic understanding of financial terms.