It was nice to see in the videos how other kids our age know so much about money.
— Greta, 5th grader

"I am financial knowledge." Level I (5th grade students) and Level II (8th grade students) are based on national standards from Jump$tart® about money and banking.  

Program Description

The "I am financial knowledge." curriculum was developed by YouthEntity Founder Kirsten McDaniel and emphasizes personal money management.  The program teaches students about:

  • Planning and money management
  • Credit and debt
  • Risk management and insurance
  • Saving and investing, using the 10-10-10-70 principle
  • Financial responsibility and decision making
  • Income and careers

Learning is not limited to the classroom!  Every student receives a workbook that allows students to keep notes and complete exercises so that they can share the knowledge they learn with their families.  Every student completes a final test where they are paid $.50 for each question they answer correctly, up to$15 each. Students take home a physical paycheck from YouthEntity along with a parent letter with information about the program and how to deposit the check.  If students choose to open a special YouthEntity Alpine Bank student account at any Alpine Bank branch, they may earn an extra 1% interest in their savings up to balances of $1,000.

Participation is easy for teachers.  YouthEntity Program Managers work with your 5th or 8th grade teacher teams to determine the best dates to offer the workshop and bring in a team of trained facilitators to teach the program.  This program is completely free of charge to all students and teachers.  YouthEntity offers a final field trip for students and teachers who may come to the YouthEntity center in Carbondale to take part in interactive workshops, take a tour of a bank and complete their final test. 

Final Test: Earning for Learning

During the 2015-2016 academic year, YouthEntity gave out over $34,000 in awards to students to help jump start their savings using the principle: for every dollar you earn or are given you should "pay yourself first" by saving 10%, investing 10% and sharing 10% and then spend the remaining 70%.

Here are five financial literacy questions, taken from our Level I final test. 

1.  What kind of tax is collected when you buy something?
a. an income tax
b. a sales tax
c. a property tax
d. an estate tax

2.  Should you worry about telling someone your social security number or bank account number?
a. Yes, because they could ask to borrow money from you.
b. No, because your parents will always take care of any problems.
c. Yes, because the information could be used to steal your identity.
d. No, because you can always trust people.

3.  What is a tool people purchase to manage risk?
a. An investment
b. A loan
c. An insurance policy
d. An inventory

4.  The money banks pay you for keeping your money on deposit with them is called___________.
a. a loan
b. a savings account
c. interest
d. an expense

5.  When you buy something with credit, you are __________.
a. borrowing money with the promise to pay it back later.
b. never charged fees or interest
c. using cash from your checking account
d. not making a responsible financial choice  

ANSWERS: b, c, c, c, a


If your 5th or 8th grade teacher team is interested in participating, please contact Paul Hilts, "I am financial knowledge." Program Manager, YouthEntity, by e-mail at or call our office line at (970) 963-4055.