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Delaware Children's Museum and The Sallie Mae Fund Help 4th Graders Celebrate Financial Literacy Month

Money, math and more!

NEWARK, Del., April 26, 2012 — Almost 200 fourth graders from New Castle's Carrie Downie and Newark's Gallaher elementary schools compounded interest in math and money matters at the Delaware Children's Museum during Financial Literacy Month, thanks to a grant from The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae.

"I learned about money in a fun way. One of my favorite parts was learning that there are little clues on real dollar bills and I could see letters in a special type of light to make sure the money wasn't counterfeit," said Daniel, 10, who attended the field trip with his classmates.

During the Museum's "Money in Motion" Focused Field Trip program, school children played entrepreneur at a lemonade stand to discover the principles of supply and demand, discovered how to tell counterfeit bills from real currency, calculated percentages to evaluate which items are the best buy, managed a budget, gave money to philanthropic causes, and more.

"I think they really gained an appreciation of the value of money and learned through engaging activities," said Carrie Downie, fourth grade teacher, Christiana Murphy. "We discussed economics and the difference between wants and needs before the field trip and they really loved exploring and the hands-on experience about banking and money, which aligns with Delaware State Content Standards for social studies."

Focused Field Trips are in-depth, facilitated explorations of a museum exhibition, with additional activities led by Delaware Children's Museum educators. The museum also provides teachers with related pre- and post-visit curricula that enhance knowledge of key concepts.

"The children really learned about how important money is through the interactive exhibits such as the lemonade stand and the bank drive-thru tube," said grandparent Lydia Dejesus of New Castle who attended with her granddaughter Noella, 9. "In our household, it's very important to learn the importance of money and how to save for something larger. It was great to see when one child understood a topic more, they would explain it to their classmates."

The Sallie Mae Fund gave $15,000 to the museum to support its Focused Field Trip programs, which also include "Taking Shape" (geometry, engineering, and construction), "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds" (anatomy, nutrition, and health), "Water Wise" (water, weather, and natural resources), and "Art about the Book" (art and reading).

"We design our programs and exhibits to be playful, in response to the way children naturally learn, and also to support and extend teacher's classroom lessons with memorable experiences that reinforce key learning concepts," said Julie W. Van Blarcom, Delaware Children's Museum's executive director and CEO."

The Sallie Mae Fund supports programs that foster savings awareness and positive financial decisions to further a child's journey to academic success," said Joni Reich, president of The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization that helps open doors to higher education. "We are so pleased to be able to help the Delaware Children's Museum provide these compelling types of learning experiences and tools for teachers."