'Sense and Dollars' Site Teaches Financial Responsibility

The need to teach today's teenagers about financial responsibility has never been more important. The Sense and Dollars Web site (http://senseand dollars.thinkport.org) sets out to do this by teaching teens how to earn, spend, invest and save money wisely through a series of activities that speak to them in a language they will understand and respond to. Created by Maryland Public Television, the educational site uses interactive real-life situations to impress upon teens a sense of financial responsibility.

Designed for middle and high school students, the site has a hip design and uses teen lingo. For example, the lesson, "All About the Benjamins, Baby!" teaches teens about the history of money, while "Makin' the Bacon" illustrates how many hours at a typical teenage job such as baby-sitting, burger flipping or cashiering it will take to buy a new stereo or leather jacket. Other lessons such as "Time Warp" explain the concept of inflation, while "The Scoop on Credit" illustrates how the "buy now, pay later" method costs more in the long run. There's even a section on the Web site that helps students plan their dream prom.

Tools for teachers are also available on the site, including curricular suggestions, links to other educational sites and a list of education standards the lessons meet. In addition, the site's family guide offers tools for parents to continue teaching financial responsibility at home.

This article originally appeared in the 02/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.

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