Jackson Charitable Foundation and Discovery Education Launch Third Annual “Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Contest” to Encourage K-6 Grade Students to Become Financially Empowered Adults

Jackson Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to advance financial knowledge on a national scale and Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, today announced the third annual Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! Contest. Open to elementary school teachers and families of students in grades K-6, entrants take a pledge to teach kids how to earn, save, spend, and donate. Now through Dec. 12, teachers and families can enter the contest for the chance to win $10,000 for their school, plus an additional $1,000 to donate to charity. In addition to cash prizes, the winning school will also receive a fun financial literacy event at their school. 

“Working with Discovery Education, the Jackson Charitable Foundation has helped more than three million students across the country understand how money works,” said Danielle Robinson, executive director, Jackson Charitable Foundation. “The steps we take to build financial knowledge as young adults in middle age, and even after we leave the workforce, are just as important as the steps we take as children. The ‘Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! Contest’ exists so young learners have a fun, engaging path to travel while taking those first steps into financial education.”

Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! is a financial education program designed to train the next generation of financially empowered adults. The program provides youth with critical 21st century skills by beginning high-quality financial literacy education in elementary school, where it can be fundamentally embedded in core learning experiences at a young age. Available at no cost to classrooms nationwide, the program provides educator resources, family activities, animated videos, and more. 

“‘Cha-Ching’ was created as the ‘School House Rock’ for financial literacy. The program’s accessible, digitally immersive, interactive videos help kids learn the basics of financial management and open up a future world of possibilities, which aim to help them make informed financial decisions that support their personal dreams and goals,” said Dr. Alice Wilder, producer of Blues Clues and co-creator of Super WHY! “Kids have choices about how they spend their money, and it’s important for them to know what those choices are starting at an early age.” 

Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! program elements include:
Music Videos and Game — Helping children learn money management concepts with lively cartoon characters from the Cha-Ching band. Storylines spotlight the importance of earning, saving, spending, and donating. They also help reinforce healthy money habits.

Classroom Activities — Providing K-6 educators with standards-aligned activities that pair with music videos to teach students how to be money smart.

Educator Guides — Enhancing educators’ background knowledge of financial literacy to better equip them to facilitate the classroom activities.

Family Activities — Offering parents, families, and communities helpful tools to teach their children how to be money smart. 

“We live in an era that has proven to be challenging when considering effective ways to engage young students in active learning,” said Eric Harshbarger, Larry W. Miller Intermediate School Principal, East Muskingum Local Schools, New Concord, Ohio. Larry W. Miller Intermediate School was also the 2018 Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! Contest winning school. “The program gets great messages across, teaches kids about financial literacy as an important subject, and empowers students to take part in growing their own knowledge base. We’re elated about fun and exciting opportunities to grow money smart adults,” he said.  

Launched in April 2017, Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! amplifies engaging financial literacy content and brings it to classrooms across the United States. Cha-Ching is a cartoon band that features six energetic characters, brought to life in music videos, that help children learn about fundamental money management concepts through the band members’ different approaches to money habits. The original videos were created by Dr. Wilder and feature storylines that spotlight the four key concepts of money: earn, save, spend, and donate. These concepts emphasize the cycle of money and vital choices that are made every day throughout life.

“Discovery Education is proud to lock arms with Jackson Charitable Foundation to transform classrooms, empower teachers, and captivate students as they build the confidence necessary to make sound financial decisions that are critical for success,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “The ‘Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids! Contest’ brings financial literacy concepts to life, supports in-class and at-home instruction, and helps students and families practice the building blocks of sound financial planning. We are delighted to continue the program’s meaningful impact in schools and homes across America.”

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