(Photo caption: J. McQuilken, second grade student at Captain Albert W. Stevens School in Belfast, with a copy of the book, “Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts”.)
In recognition of October as Financial Planning Month and to strengthen financial capability in Maine, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has once again partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to offer Invest in ME Reads, a program to support family financial education by empowering families to engage in conversations about future goals, saving money, and the value of choice.
Unlike many financial education programs that focus on high school students, Invest in ME Reads engages children early in elementary school to help them begin to learn about money and financial decision making. FAME launched the program in 2020 to serve all Maine second graders and this year has expanded it to provide free resources to all public second and third grade students.
Through the Invest in ME Reads program, students will receive from FAME a collection of educational resources, including free books and bookmarks that encourage saving, giving, and delayed gratification. Families will also be given materials to use at home, including a parent guide, information to help kick-start their focus on college savings, and special content to encourage them to visit InvestinMeReads.com, an interactive web page with fun activities and resources for students and their families.
“The Invest in ME program has become a yearly event here at the Etna-Dixmont School”, said Jane York, who serves as Principal of the school. “Our second grade students and teachers have enjoyed reading the book, having a virtual visit with the author, Maribeth Boelts, and discussing the importance of friendship, caring, and helping others. The financial information for the parents has sparked conversations about saving, needs and wants and also giving back. It is a great program and we are thrilled that the third grade was included this year. The experience they had with the book and the parent connection last year has now been reaffirmed. Thank you for this wonderful program.”
The program helps to support Maine’s statewide goal to produce an educated and skilled workforce. For many Mainers, a lack of financial capability can be a significant barrier to pursuing education and training after high school, which in turn can have an impact on an individual’s ability to seek employment and, ultimately, the strength of Maine’s economy.
“At FAME, we recognize that financial capability is a key ingredient for lifelong success and we want to do our part by providing resources that will support financial education – even as early as elementary school,” said FAME Director of Education Martha Johnston. “Schools across Maine have embraced the program and we look forward this year to expanding the program to reach both second and third grade students and their families.”
In November, FAME will offer a virtual reading featuring one of the books, Those Shoes, read by the author Maribeth Boelts. One elementary school will be chosen to bring Boelts into their classroom for a special virtual visit. “A child’s financial education can begin simply through families, teachers, and caregivers sharing a story and engaging in conversation,” said Boelts. “I am so honored that my book is a part of the Invest in ME Reads Program and is included among the many helpful and rich resources provided on FAME’s website.”
For more information about how FAME can support your family’s financial goals, please visit the Invest in ME Reads website.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities. FAME helps to lead the creation of good paying jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus between economic and workforce development. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.FAMEmaine.com.