4-H Dollars and Sense Program teaches budgeting to Baker Intermediate School students

Published 5:45 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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Whether economic times are strong or turbulent, budgeting is a critical and effective life skill. 

At Baker Intermediate School, students once again received an opportunity for first-hand experience. 

On Wednesday, March 27, the 4-H Dollars and Sense Program returned to simulate real-world decisions that students would need to make toward balancing a budget. 

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“This is a program that teaches some financial literacy for our youth,” said Madalyn Hale, Clark County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development. “This is a program that comes from our state 4-H Program. Our state specialists put the program together and then they send it out to the counties and we can implement [the program].” 

The program is no stranger to Baker Intermediate School, having been utilized for the last several years. 

Earlier in the week, Hale introduced and previewed the program with students of different classrooms. 

On Wednesday, from 7:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. with a lunch break in between, students were brought to the school’s gymnasium. 

Two counselors from the school – Cindy Whiteside and Terri Bailey – helped review goals and expectations. 

Students were given a predetermined amount of simulated cash, and told they would have to spend some at each of the 13 booths present. 

The 13 booths were bank, bedroom decor, candy store, chance, contributions, department store, entertainment, fast food, health and grooming, pet care, toy store, transportation, and veterinarian. 

Several of the stations had options of what money could be spent on. 

For example, the candy store included gummy bears, an ice cream sundae, candy bar, different soft drinks, and even potato chips and pretzels. 

The Contributions stations allowed students to pay toward organizations including United Way, the American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

At different stations, a number of volunteers participated in guiding students. 

Along with members of George Rogers Clark High School’s Beta Club, Winchester First Marketing and Events Director Cameron Correll was present. 

Local resident Phillip Wright, a retired veteran of the United States Army, helped out at the Transportation Station where he acknowledged that a top purchase among many students was roller skates. 

“If they’ve got $23 dollars left in their account and they want to buy something for $50, they know they’ve got to rebudget or go borrow some money from the bank,”Wright said. “It’s just basically teaching them about life and money…it’s a good program!” 

For Whiteside, the opportunity offers one for students to understand others. 

“The people that are responsible for [students], they’re having to make these choices too,” she said. “Maybe it will help them out in their relationship with their caregivers because they’re having to budget their money and they can help their family to make smart choices.” 

Bailey addrf that seeing the students grow is equally as important. 

“Just having a hands-on opportunity to take the things they’ve learned in the classroom and just throughout life and actually apply them is really beneficial for the kids.” she said. “They’re not just sitting and writing on paper…It’s very engaging.”