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Dustin Sheppard hold a package of shredded U.S. currency in a Budgeting for Kids class at Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Sigonella. During the class, the children, in grades five through 11, learn about all aspects of money and how to handle it wisely.
Dustin Sheppard hold a package of shredded U.S. currency in a Budgeting for Kids class at Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Sigonella. During the class, the children, in grades five through 11, learn about all aspects of money and how to handle it wisely. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Dustin Sheppard hold a package of shredded U.S. currency in a Budgeting for Kids class at Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Sigonella. During the class, the children, in grades five through 11, learn about all aspects of money and how to handle it wisely.
Dustin Sheppard hold a package of shredded U.S. currency in a Budgeting for Kids class at Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Sigonella. During the class, the children, in grades five through 11, learn about all aspects of money and how to handle it wisely. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Petty Office 1st Class Walter Nieves, Naval Air Station Sigonella command financial educator, talks with children about money management in a Budgeting for Kids class in the base Fleet and Family Support Center.
Petty Office 1st Class Walter Nieves, Naval Air Station Sigonella command financial educator, talks with children about money management in a Budgeting for Kids class in the base Fleet and Family Support Center. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

In order to spend cash this summer in Indiana, 13-year-old Kiara Hay had to learn about money matters.

Her mother signed her up for Budgeting for Kids, a class offered last week by the Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily.

“My mom said if I wanted a debit card this summer I had to take the course,” the seventh-grader said. “She wanted me to learn how to manage money and spend it and save wisely.”

The two-hour class, for students in grades five through 11, addresses how to save, invest and spend money, said Petty Officer 1st Class Walter Nieves, a fleet center financial educator.

The idea for the class came from Petty Officer 1st Class Kathy Williams, a fleet center employee. She said that while her children were learning about stocks in school, she thought it would be a good idea to also teach them the basics of saving.

The dozen or so children who attended the class “really understood money does not grow on trees and they have to work for it,” she said.

The kids walked away with handouts, such as one listing secrets to saving, including: “Know why you’re saving. In the olden days, before the Internet and MTV, people saved for a rainy day. It’s more fun to save for a sunny day for all the things you want.”

Because most pupils take the bus home and aren’t able to attend such after-school classes, there are plans for the center to offer Budgeting for Kids to Stephen Decatur Elementary School during regular hours, said John Fletcher, assistant principal.

Kiara said the class was worthwhile, and she’ll use what she learned by spending her money wisely away from home.

“It’s the first time where I’m old enough to do stuff,” she said. “If I want to go to the movies or something, I’ll have money.”

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