We all know the importance of the three Rs in education - "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic". But also knowing how to earn, save, spend and give money -financial literacy - seems more important than ever in this era of foreclosures, credit card debt and recession.
Surprisingly few social work schools offer specialized financial literacy in their curricula, as addressing this challenge by offering workshops to struggling families on dealing with banks, credit problems and avoiding potential frauds.
And now, in 2009, New York's most innovative children's and family services provider has teamed up with Minyanville Publishing and Multimedia, a leading financial media company, to spread the message of financial literacy for children.
Minyanville has brought its virtual community and game site "MinyanLand" to The Children's Aid Society's Frederick Douglass Center in Manhattan. The web site, geared to 8-10 year olds, teaches the importance of earning, saving, spending and giving through interactive games and activities.
The CEO of New York's Children's Aid Society, C. Warren Moses, also contributes a bi-weekly column about the "Business of Giving" on the Minyanville website:
"Many families come to the Children's Aid Society looking for tools to help their children lead richer, more productive lives," said Moses. "MinyanLand is free and available to anyone who can go online with a computer. The financial literacy tools available...give our children accessibility to knowledge they can use for a lifetime."
So you might add a fourth R to the schooling list now: "responsibility." Fiscal responsibility might be the most important R of all - and learning how to use it, via an education in financial literacy, is a lesson that will last a lifetime!