The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Advertising Council are seeking to create a nation of young savers with Feed the Pig for Tweens, a new financial literacy curriculum for fourth to sixth graders.
"It's vital that we instill the importance of smart money habits in our children," said Carl George, chairman of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. "At a time when Americans routinely spend more than they earn, educating our nation's youngsters on how to save will have positive long-term effects not only on their individual financial futures, but on the economy as a whole."
The program is an extension of the Feed the Pig campaign, which helps 25-to-34 year olds take control of their finances by saving. Benjamin Bankes, an adult-sized pig who evokes memories of the piggy bank, is the icon of the original Feed the Pig campaign.
Feed the Pig for Tweens was developed by JMH Education with input from its Teacher Advisory Board and in cooperation with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The curriculum introduces nine to 11 year old students to responsible financial decision making. Teachers may order printed copies or download the curriculum free of charge at the Feed the Pig for Tweens Web site.
The coursework reinforces math skills with real-life applications, like tracking expenses and balancing a checkbook. Students will be joined by the Bankes Piglets, 12 dynamic and diverse "savers and spenders," who help them analyze financial habits and create responsible financial plans. Feed the Pig for Tweens includes The Great Piglet Challenge online interactive game and a take-home activity, Feed the Pig Family Goal, for the students to work through with family members.
"Feed the Pig has been very successful at changing people's financial behavior," stated Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "I am confident that Feed the Pig for Tweens will encourage students to take the first steps to be on the right financial track at an early age."
At its initial launch, the program will reach one hundred twenty thousand students in 5,000 classrooms across the U.S. By this time next year, Feed the Pig for Tweens is expected to be taught to over 1 million students in 35,000 classrooms nationwide.