Fifth grade students at Bigelow Hill Intermediate School and Washington Intermediate School made spending, saving and budgeting decisions on Nov. 15 in a special lesson taught by CPAs and accountants from local accounting firms in conjunction with 27 faculty and students from The University of Findlay’s College of Business.
The program is part of a statewide financial literacy program presented one day each November by members and volunteers for the Ohio Society of CPAs and the Ohio CPA Foundation. FETCH! ®, which stands for Financial Education Teaches Children Healthy Habits®, is a classroom board game that teaches children smart money skills that CPAs hope they will use to make smart financial decisions as adults.
FETCH! is set in a dog park where students manage the finances of owning a pet. With each turn, they use critical math and thinking skills to earn money for basics like a leash and collar, budget for unplanned expenses and save money for the future. If your dog learns a new trick, you earn cash. If your pet gets sick, the vet bill can put you in the red and keep you from buying an essential item. The game teaches children that sometimes you must delay buying what you want right now so that you can afford what you need later. The team that purchases a bone, bowl, leash and collar and saves the most money along the way earns the title of Top Dog.
“FETCH! is a fun way to teach children the basics of managing money,” said Ann Woolum, CPA, Knueven, Schroeder and Co. “They have to make tough choices about when to spend their money and save it and how that impacts their ability to meet future goals.” Through FETCH!, kids learn that every decision has consequences, just like in real life. The event concluded with a pizza party allowing further interaction with the students and answering additional questions from the children.
The lesson could not be timelier as parents across America struggle to discuss money management with their children. According to a Harris Interactive survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs, three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money or have had just one big talk with their children on the subject. Just 13 percent of parents surveyed talk daily with their children about financial matters.
FETCH! was created 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 gauge if students have mastered a basic understanding of financial terms. The Ohio CPA Foundation drives awareness for CPA careers and builds financially healthy communities.
The Ohio Society of CPAs, established in 1908, represents more than 22,000 CPAs in business, education, government and public accounting. The Ohio Society’s members not only meet statutory and regulatory requirements as CPAs, but also embrace the highest standards of professional and ethical performance. This is achieved through ongoing professional education, comprehensive quality review and compliance with a strict Code of Professional Conduct.