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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

To teach kids about money, make it a game



freeman.jpgI am so intriged by this Money Matters Family Game Night  coming up Friday by the financial literacy organization Solita's Housein Tampa. It sounds like the same thinking behind the financial literacy lesson disguised as a football game, as our colleagu Ron Matus reports here. Called Financial Football, your team marches up the field and if, say, you don't know the minimum payment on a credit card, your QB gets sacked.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was at Northeast High School last week to cheer and high-five his team of students as they defeated another "coached" by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. The interactive game is a joint effort among Visa, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association. It's also part of a statewide initiative led by Atwater, whose office is distributing the free game to every public middle school and high school.

Knowing how to read a credit report may be as important to a student's future as basic reading and math. But there's no room for that on the FCAT. So, to spur schools in that direction, the unlikely duo teamed up to unveil the tool for boosting financial literacy on kids' terms.

At Friday night's Money Matters Financial Game Night, they also take into account that many families don't discuss financial matters, writing checks, how to find housing, why to avoid pay day loans or the need to save up to buy high-priced items. To help young adults learn basic life skills, the financial literacy organization Solita's House has developed the Money Matters Game  and is hosting a free family game night with prizes, food, fun and lots of competition. You can play each other or play with your family as a team against some other cash-strapped clan. It starts at 7 p.m. Friday at Solita’s House, 1475 Tampa Park Plaza, Tampa. It’s free but call (813) 425-4847 to reserve a spot.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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Photo: [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, right, celebrates Tuesday with Northeast High junior Orjada Dashi, 16, far left, Dragana Bilic, 16, Emily Thammavong, 16, and Christine Leonard, 17, after winning a Financial Football video game.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:32pm]


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