Penny the Penguin helps students with financial literacy

Issue: Volume 97, Number 18

Posted: 24 August 2018
Reference #: 1H9kD2

A new interactive storybook aims to improve financial know-how by encouraging thoughtful decision making amongst early childhood learners.

A new e-book aims to help children to learn the difference between wants and needs.

Children in early childhood centres around the country have the opportunity to learn the basics of good financial decision making through a new interactive storybook about ‘Penny the Penguin(external link)’.

The story centres around a penguin who needs help to fix her boat – a mission she can only accomplish if readers help Penny to make the right choices between the supplies she needs and the treats she wants.

The specially designed, interactive tool was developed by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) with the help of the Auckland Kindergarten Association and was shared in early childhood centres nationwide by trained bank staff during their annual staff volunteering day, Closed for Good.

Auckland Kindergarten Association CEO Pauline Winter says the early years of a child’s life are critical to establishing a strong foundation for learning.

“Telling an appealing story around needs, wants and making good choices can help children learn about the potential consequences to others as a result of their decision making – an outcome often top of mind for adults in relation to financial management.”

KiNZ Care and Early Learning Orewa is one of the early childhood centres where volunteers introduced students to Penny the Penguin.

Centre Manager Shelley Baird says learning about the concept of making good choices relates to the Exploration strand of Te Whāriki and encourages critical thinking and problem solving from an early age.

“It may begin with a story about Penny the Penguin gathering the items she needs to mend a broken boat, but these concepts are used every day by our children – as part of their learning through play, as part of problem solving, and as part of developing into competent, confident learners.”

As well as early childhood centres, BNZ staff also shared financial skills with teenagers and seniors.

For teenagers, they developed the ‘My Moni(external link)’ app, which lets users select an avatar and trial scenarios based on choices immediately in front of them, like buying a car or getting a job to help them prepare for financial independence.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 12:05 pm, 24 August 2018

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