Rock is a spender. Brock is a saver. As the lead characters in Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, they made it easy for Mayor Jon Nehring and school board president Chris Nation to talk to kids about long-term savings and compound interest.
On Thursday, April 26, Nehring and Nation participated in Financial Literacy Reading Days (April 25-29) by going to Liberty Elementary School and reading to Mina Shelly's second graders and Cathy Elkington's third graders.
"It was a lot of fun," said Nehring, who visited with the second graders. "It's our hope that if the kids understand it, they can take it home and share that knowledge. At the very least, they'll understand the power of saving early."
Financial Literacy Reading Days is part of a national movement called Money Smart Week, a public awareness campaign designed to help everyone better manage their personal finances. Reading to kids helps emphasize the importance of money management at a young age.
"Money management is an important life skill that we can offer our children," said Nation, who visited with the third graders. "The more kids we can reach, the better. By doing things like this, we have the potential of creating long-term change. That's our overall goal in the school system."
United Way of Snohomish County organized the event as part of the Jump$tart Washington Coalition. Each student was provided with a Moonjar, a savings tool that helps kids see the importance of putting some money into savings, some into daily expenses and some to donate or share with others.
In the story, Rock and Brock's grandfather hires the boys to do chores and then encourages them to save by matching the total amount of money that they have accumulated from their pay each week. Brock manages to save $512 in 10 weeks, while Rock spends his money as soon as he earns it, purchasing a fanciful array of toys, gum, and yard-sale items, all of which are comically depicted in the bright cartoon illustrations. Ultimately, Brock uses his proceeds to buy a fancy telescope and some gifts for family members, generously putting his remaining $50 dollars into a joint savings account that he shares with his brother. Evidently Rock learned his lesson, as the tale ends with the adult twins as millionaires.