Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Monday, April 30, 2007

Scott Kinney, Director of Communications, DFI
PH 360.902.0517 skinney@dfi.wa.gov

Washington Students Become "Mad About Money" With Financial Literacy Theatre Program

DFI Sponsors Statewide Tour to Help Kids Understand Personal Finance

OLYMPIA – The words “budgeting,” “investing” and “credit” will be the new buzz words throughout Washington this spring as Mad About Money, a live, in-school theater show, comes to area schools. Sponsored by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), performers with the National Theatre for Children, Inc. (NTC) will teach middle-school students about the principles of saving and spending with its unique mixture of personal finance and humor. The tour begins today and continues through June. By the tour’s end, the troupe will introduce over 12,000 teachers and students to money management.

“It is critical that smart spending habits start early. In a survey administered by the Jump$tart Coalition, 65 percent of high-school seniors, on average, failed a test that determined their knowledge of personal-finance basics,” said Scott Kinney, DFI Director of Communications and president of the Washington Jump$tart Coalition. “Mad About Money unites improv comedy with proven education techniques to help students understand the basics of personal finance – an education that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

“Financial literacy is unacceptably low in this country,” adds Lewis Mandell, Ph.D., professor of finance and managerial economics at the State University of New York-Buffalo. “Having evaluated the impact of NTC’s financial-literacy programs on students’ attitudes toward managing their finances, we know that shows like Mad About Money are an effective way to improve their knowledge about saving and budgeting.”

Mad About Money will tour 48 middle schools covering Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, Yakima, and Spokane. The show features professional actors who play a wide variety of colorful characters in four sketches. While watching a dad teach his son the difference between “needs” and “wants,” or an unsuspecting car buyer learn about credit from a smooth-talking salesman, students learn to prioritize how their money is spent, the importance of developing a savings habit and ways to invest for the future.

Beyond the in-school performances, Mad About Money program components include educational workbooks in Spanish and English, take-home activities, Internet exercises, handy guidebooks, curricular aids for teachers, and a rigorous testing method for measuring program results.

Mad About Money Spring Tour Schedule

Date City School
4/30/2007 Ridgefield View Ridge Middle School
5/01/2007 Seattle Billings Middle School
5/02/2007 Woodland Woodland Middle School
5/03/2007 Tacoma Stewart Middle School
5/03/2007 Tacoma Hunt Middle School
5/04/2007 Mossyrock Mossyrock Junior High School
5/07/2007 Washougal Canyon Creek Middle School
5/08/2007 Tacoma Truman Middle School
5/08/2007 Olympia Capitol Rotunda
5/09/2007 Tacoma Mason Middle School
5/09/2007 Chehalis Chehalis Middle School
5/10/2007 Camas Skyridge Middle School
5/11/2007 Everson Nooksack Valley Middle School
5/14/2007 Ferndale Vista Middle School
5/15/2007 Port Orchard Cedar Heights Jr High School
5/15/2007 Vashon Harbor School
5/16/2007 Shelton Olympic Middle School
5/16/2007 Lakewood Lochburn Middle School
5/17/2007 Chimacum Chimacum Middle School
5/18/2007 Bellingham Fairhaven Middle School
5/21/2007 Fall City Chief Kanim Middle School
5/21/2007 Sammamish Renaissance School
5/22/2007 Arlington Haller Middle School
5/22/2007 Sultan Sultan Middle School
5/23/2007 Monroe Monroe Middle School
5/23/2007 Snohomish Hidden River Middle School
5/24/2007 Vancouver Pleasant Valley Middle School
5/25/2007 Woodland Woodland Middle School
5/29/2007 Yakima Washington Middle School
5/29/2007 Spokane Centennial Middle School
5/31/2007 Deer Park Deer Park Middle School
6/1/2007 Rockford Freeman Middle School

DFI is still accepting requests from schools interested in hosting the 45-minute financial education performance. Teachers and administrators interested in being included in the 2007 tour can contact the National Theatre for Children or Scott Kinney for more information.

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About Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
www.dfi.wa.gov • (360) 902-8700 • (877) 746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders, and securities brokers and dealers. The department has received numerous awards for its outreach programs designed to promote financial literacy and protect consumers from financial fraud.

About The National Theatre for Children
www.nationaltheatre.com • 1-800-858-3999
Founded in 1978, The National Theatre for Children, Inc. (known at that time as Small Change Original Theatre, Inc.) is dedicated to educating young people on important and timely curricular subjects by offering educational live theater in our nation's schools. Based in Minneapolis, NTC has developed the art of teaching through live theater into an evidence-based science of its own. NTC has pioneered extremely successful programs in health, science, social studies, reading and math. Each year, dozens of troupes perform live educational theater programs in front of millions of students, in thousands of schools, nationwide.