After school program teaches kids real-world finance

- What may look like an afterschool daycare program in Riverview is actually a busy world of banking and commerce.

Each student gets a ‘hello' and a handshake when they walk through the door.

"Do you all remember when we did our budget for our business?" Shiela Walker asks the students.

She started her non-profit "Kids Doing Business Academy Prep" when she noticed a lack of basic knowledge about managing money in her community.

“I had some kids in the van and they said, ‘Miss Shiela, what is this?’ and I was like kinda floored...  I said, ‘this is a bank,’” she recalled.

Now she's helping kids bank on their futures with a free, afterschool program dedicated to teaching financial skills.

“I put bananas there for s reason. What is a want and what is a need, when you go to purchase these items?” she asked the class.

Surveys conducted by the National Financial Educators Council fond teaching money management in school has a big impact on students' attitudes towards money and their budgeting behaviors later in life.

And a new Bank of America USA Today survey shows just 30-percent of respondents thought their high school education did a good job teaching good financial habits.

But relatively few schools consistently work personal finance into curriculums.

"We consider this business beyond school," Walker said. "The earlier you learn about money, finance, how to present yourself in professional environment, customer service skills, the better prepared they will be for high school and college."

With Miss Shiela, the kids create an imaginary business based on their interests. They learn about everything from marketing to networking and management. With surveys showing only a little more than half of Americans are financially literate, suiting up for success early is a wise investment.

"When they come in with their shirt and ties they say, ‘Miss Sheila, I feel so good,’ and that touches my heart," she said.

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