Jenny Kapsa, financial education coordinator at the Rappahannock County School Board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11 at the elementary school gymnasium.

The totals are in. Rappahannock County Public Schools’ kindergartners have $9,773 in their MyFuture savings accounts, an average of $178, including interest.

Each kindergartner received a MyFuture account in January, seeded with $100 from FamilyFutures, a local nonprofit focused on building life skills through financial education. After that, the students could earn up to $100 more by completing a variety of activities designed to grow their financial knowledge. The students hardly skipped a beat when the schools closed in March.

Jenny Kapsa, the financial education coordinator embedded in the school system, worked to send home weekly activities. Each exercise completed earned another $20 deposit. 

"COVID didn't stop the RCPS kindergarteners from participating in MyFuture activities,” says Kapsa. “While at home, they had fun completing a variety of hands-on and thoughtful projects while learning basic financial skills. Baking cookies in the shapes of coins, reading and creating stories, and playing "would you rather" games, which required students to think about choices regarding their futures, were just some of the many exercises that the students enjoyed through the MyFuture program." 

Parents reported on completion by email and, often, with pictures and comments. 

Katie Helbock wrote, “Genevieve just loves doing the activities you send you in the mail.  . . . We have done the fortune teller and the seeds.”

A majority of kindergartners, 32, earned the maximum amount of deposits for the year. Another 11 earned additional deposits ranging from $20 to $80. Most popular were reading a book with a financial theme, followed by filling coin wrappers and a fortune-telling exercise on making choices. 

“We have completed the coin wrapper activity, which was [Liam’s] favorite. He used money from his piggy bank and really enjoyed figuring out how much money he had! We also have completed the fortune teller activity, the one just sent decoding the secret message, and he has done some chores,” wrote Emily Stone. 

Doing chores at home earned deposits and helped out parents.

The new entering kindergartners this fall will get their MyFuture accounts, and the rising first graders will have a new set of learning opportunities to add another $100 to their accounts.

“While the adjustments to scheduling and school-based instruction present challenges, the students’ and parents’ enthusiasm is encouraging.” said FamilyFutures board member Tom Massie, DVM. “We can already see the children and parents growing and sharing knowledge.”

FamilyFutures also offers free, confidential financial coaching to individuals and families coping with financial stress. To schedule an appointment, call 540-675-1060 or email info@family-futures.org.

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