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Workshop for kids to make sense out of dollars and cents

PERU - When it comes to handling their finances, Lana Knight wants kids to get an early start.

Knight, director of Christian education at Peru Community Church, will join Debby Healy and Kallie Licourt of TD Bank in hosting "Cash, Check or Credit?" beginning Wednesday, June 2. The weekly workshop will teach children in grades 5-7 the fundamentals of money management including budgeting, the difference between debit and credit cards, how to use a checkbook and understanding basic financial terms.

"I remember being in seventh grade when we had home economics and you learned the basic skills of balancing a checkbook," recalled Knight. "That's not the case today. There's even a whole generation of parents out there that weren't shown that in school."

The idea behind the workshop is to provide that type of information to children who may not have a good grasp on what to do with money when they get it, said Knight.

"There are three things you do with money, especially at this age," said Knight. "You have money in your pocket, money in your piggy bank, and hopefully, money in some sort of savings account. We're going to show kids how to use an account correctly."

"We'll show them how to fill out a check, how to fill out a deposit ticket, withdrawal tickets, balancing their checkbooks and how to avoid overdraft charges," said Licourt.

Once children understand the basics of money management, it will give them a greater appreciation for what they do with their money, said Healy.

"Once they start seeing how many hours they have to work to save up for something, it can be an eye-opener for them," said Healy. "Then they may think, 'Oh, wow, maybe I won't have that extra soda today.' I think they'll appreciate things more and you can see them saving a lot faster, too."

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