Talking with kids about money to improve financial literacy is increasingly recognized as a priority, not only for Canada's young people, but also for the future financial health of individuals, families and communities.
There is growing recognition across Canada and around the world of the correlation between financial health and physical and mental health and wellbeing. Many Canadians of all ages are struggling with stress, anxiety and feeling out of control in managing their financial affairs. The TWOKAM program helps to engage parents and teachers in talking with youth about money. It can help prepare youth to manage their financial futures and avoid the stresses faced by so many Canadians today. And teachers and parents are listening– and getting involved.
In 2018, over 7,000 teachers, over 650,000 students and many more thousands of youth and parents participated in Talk With Our Kids About Money Day (TWOKAM Day). The educational program, created by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and supported by Scotiabank, is celebrating its seventh anniversary. The TWOKAM program started in 2013 as a pilot in Toronto and Montreal area schools and has since expanded to include schools and homes right across Canada as educators, parents and guardians recognized the need to improve the financial capability of young Canadians. Initially, the program designated one day a year, as an easy way to get the talks started. Starting as a catalyst to ignite interest and initiate the "fires" started and spread.
The TWOKAM program now runs all year long, with teachers and parents continuously accessing the free and easy to use resources. There will continue to be the one big day of celebration each year, the third Wednesday every April – and today, April 17, is that day. Talking about money is the first step to improving financial capability– and this is so important for young Canadians to head into their futures with confidence and competence.
To support all those who want to get involved, CFEE has created a comprehensive website – www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.
In addition to the money talks in homes and schools, money fairs, proclamations and special events are being held in communities across Canada today and throughout April to commemorate TWOKAM Day. The program's national showcase event this year is a Money Fair hosted by Scotiabank at the Scotia Plaza in downtown Toronto. Among the featured guests at the event are representatives of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and Toronto Maple Leafs Alumnus, Darcy Tucker.
CFEE is proud to be partnering with Scotiabank, and parents and educators all across Canada, on our Talk With Our Kids About Money program that aims to help prepare our youth for healthy financial futures. CFEE couldn't be more pleased with the growing impact of the TWOKAM Program. With over 8,000 teachers and thousands more parents participating this year, I believe we are achieving that goal."
- Gary Rabbior, President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE)
"Young people are our future leaders and our goal at Scotiabank is to help them gain the skills and provide the resources they need to reach their goals. By supporting Talk With Our Kids About Money Day, we are investing in young people and in the long-term security, stability and growth of our communities."
- Ahmad Dajani, Vice President, Operating Practices, Scotiabank
"Research has indicated a link between debt-related stress and poor mental health among adults. Engaging with kids early to improve their financial literacy has the potential to positively impact their well-being over time."
- Dr. Hayley Hamilton, Senior Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH
CFEE is a federally chartered, non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic and financial literacy and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with ministries and departments of education along with school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations. CFEE also engages in activities to support and assist newcomers and past immigrants to Canada, and the general public including print resources, videos, workshops, and online resources. Overall, CFEE aspires to help Canadians of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.