Students Inspired to Get “Mad About Money!”

Montana Financial Education CoalitionSponsors Live Performances Teaching Financial Literacy in Montana Schools

Beginning October 7, several thousand 4th – 8th grade school students throughout Montana will be treated to performances of Mad About Money! This unique and entertaining program – featuring live, educational theatre performances by professional actors – also includes print and digital curriculum designed to get students to consider good habits around earning, saving and spending money. Sponsored by the Montana Financial Education Coalition, the production will play in 10 schools throughout the state.

Mad About Money, produced by The National Theatre for Children (NTC), features two professional actors who play a variety of characters in a 40-minute program for the entire school. Students learn important lessons about their money and buying habits through four comical and informative sketches, including:

  • Prioritizing needs vs. wants
  • Saving and investing
  • The difference between cash and credit
  • The importance of forming a savings habit

While the performance and educational content is completely scripted, the shows are built to incorporate certain moments of improvisation. At the beginning of each scene, actors solicit information from the audience that is then humorously integrated into the show. “We originally brought this theater company to Montana last year and are pleased that MFEC is bringing them back,” says Monica J. Lindeen, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. “The actors are fabulous about taking suggestions from the audience, building it into the action of the play and turning them into punch lines. It makes a tremendously funny show but it still delivers a clear and important message about creating good money habits – something we want our young people to develop as early in life as possible!”

Along with the live performance, participating schools receive workbooks for each student and comprehensive lesson guides for teachers. “Our goal is to protect all Montana consumers by educating the public about the wide range of issues in insurance and securities,” confirms Ms. Lindeen. “That includes our students. It’s why we look forward to continuing our financial literacy work in the schools, and using live theatre is just one way of achieving that objective. It’s a very exciting and unique teaching platform.”

The Mad About Money program and format was the focus of a study conducted by financial literacy researcher Dr. Lewis Mandell. His study provided empirical evidence that NTC-style productions—live educational theatre combined with print and classroom activities – positively influence student attitudes on personal finance. For a copy of Dr. Mandell’s study, please contact NTC.

About Montana Financial Education Coalition The Montana Financial Education Coalition (MFEC) strives to improve the personal financial knowledge and decision making ability of Montana citizens by promoting public awareness of the need for personal financial education, and by uniting and building capacity of financial education programs. www.mtmfec.org www.fredmt.org

About The National Theatre for Children NTC is the largest touring educational theatre company in the world. Since 1978, NTC has successfully tackled one important issue after another including: financial literacy, electrical safety, water conservation, health care, smoking prevention, recycling, wise energy use, renewable energy, nutrition, and bullying prevention, (to name a few). Our educational outreach programs are entirely underwritten by corporate, non-profit and governmental sponsors who want to be associated with delivering healthy-living messages to students and their families. NTC performs approximately 7,000 times a year throughout the country, actively engaging 2.8 million students and parents through its programming. www.nationaltheatre.com

This event was made possible through the generous sponsor support: MFEC and Treasurer Bruce Brensdal, Montana’s Commission of Securities and Insurance, LPL Financial, Mary Alice Fortin Foundation for Youth Enrichment, Student Assistance Foundation, Montana Bankers Association Endowment Fund/Montana Community Foundation, Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation, D.A. Davidson & Company, Lee Foundation, Investment Centers of America, Inc., and Cladis Investment Advisory.

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