April 25, 2022

At What Age Should Children Start Learning Financial Literacy? Gipson Offers Insights

HOME ECONOMICS: The first people who model financial behavior for children are parents, says Prof. Frances Gipson in a recent interview. (Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/piggy-bank-money-savings-financial-970340/)

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In a feature about teaching good money-saving habits to children—which includes a very Dumbledore-like wizard presenting “the magic of compound interest”—the editors at the personal finance website Moneygeek turned to Professor Frances Gipson (PhD, Education, 2012) for her insights on why it’s important to help young students develop financial literacy early.

Gipson is director of the university’s Urban Leadership Program and the former chief academic officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation (only New York City’s is larger).

Asked at what age children should begin learning good financial habits, she told the interviewer that some families “subscribe to a school of thought that once children start counting, it is the beginning of financial literacy. It is never too early to begin the journey of good financial habits that include knowledge, skills, and dispositions toward a strong and healthy financial ‘report card.’ ”

Parents, she goes on to say, are a child’s first teachers, and it’s not unusual that financial literacy should begin at home, too.

SES’s Weiston-Serdan

Making History: Torie Weiston-Serdan (PhD, Education, 2013), director of the master’s degree in Community-Engaged Education & Social Change, is featured in the recent Forbes profile, “Meet The Black Queer And Trans Women Making History With Radical Approaches Toward Nonprofit Work.” The article looks at the radical approaches of several individuals (including Weiston-Serdan) toward nonprofit work.

Forbes spotlights Weiston-Serdan’s founding of the Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) and her evolving understanding of the kinds of mentors that young people really need.

“When I started learning about mentoring, too much of it was focused on changing young people and trying to sort of craft this perfect image of a young citizen,” she explained. But she realized it was more important and impactful to meet and embrace young people where they are, “giving them the space and grace to be who they wanted to be,” which is the kind of support that her YMAN provides.

Open Seat Run: Cristina Garcia (MA, Teacher Education, 2002) made headlines in 2012 when she beat out her more experienced challengers to take the Assembly seat representing the 58th district of Los Angeles County, which includes the city of Bell Gardens. Now she’s taking aim at an open congressional seat in the newly created 42nd district. She is vying for the position against fellow Democrat Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in a race that will be decided this fall. Before her political career, Garcia taught math and statistics for 12 years in L.A.-area schools.