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Making Money Smart Students

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Piggy bank

Money Smart Week, which will be celebrated this year starting on April 21, is a national initiative of ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to provide financial literacy programming to help members of your community better manage their personal finances.

But teaching financial literacy does not have to happen only during April. Here are a few ideas to help promote financial literacy and make money smart students any time of year. 

Making Trivia Masters: Using Trivia to Turn Students into Explorers

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A woman looks for a book in the stacks.

A few months ago on Programming Librarian, I talked about asking a trivia question as part of your passive programming. Now, I've taken it a step further to create a Trivia Master Challenge that encourages students to search the library’s catalog, explore our nonfiction section, and learn how to search successfully within a book.

Passive Doesn't Mean Boring: 5 Passive Program Ideas for School Libraries

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Girls making bookmarks

Passive programs can be a great way to regularly attract students into the library without having planned, specific events. Pick a corner of the library that can be designated for these drop-by activities, set out the supplies and some instructions, and let it go! Here are a few of my go-to passive programs.

Group of girls making bookmarks

'Breakout' of the Mold: Breakout Programs in Libraries

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Group of boys who almost broke the code

Like the increasingly popular "escape rooms" — in which players solve a series of puzzles to break out of a room — Breakouts use a compelling story, time limit, and series of puzzles to create an interactive game. But instead of breaking out of a locked room, students must work together to break into a tightly locked box before the timer runs out. Puzzles lead to the combinations for the different types of locks, and many games also include a digital element.

Five Alternatives to Book Talks

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Kids participating in book speed dating

A great book talk can make anyone want to read any book, but sometimes you need an alternative. If you haven’t read your new books yet, you only have a couple copies of a book to lend, or — like me — you’re just not very comfortable with giving book talks, here are a few programs you can do with your classes to build excitement about reading.

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