Safe Moves, a non-profit organization, is recognized as the leading authority in traffic safety education in the country. Safe Moves has not only been credited with saving thousands of children’s lives through education, but also through legislation with new traffic safety laws.
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Wear It For Life
money smartz

Statement of Problem:

Money SmartzA recent survey conducted by Safe Moves at 250 elementary schools in Los Angeles County showed that the majority of children have a poor understanding of money, banks, budgets and the role they and their families play as consumers.

This lack of knowledge should not a surprise. Children can’t know what they have not been taught. If no one tells them that personal finance is important how are they supposed to know?

America’s schools can’t bear the blame for financial ignorance all by themselves. Experts say that the children aren’t learning responsible personal finances from their parents either. Children often pick up bad money habits at home and continue these habits as teens and adults.

The goal of “Money Smartz” is to explain the basics of money and banking to children in a fun, entertaining and effective way.


  1. School Workshops
    Safe Moves will implement an interactive program utilizing a game show called “Money Smartz”. The structure of the game show will include an instructor who is the host of the show. He/she will facilitate the show by performing host functions (introductions of the game, selection of the student contestants and implementation of lesson plans). Students will participate as contestants in order to win the “Money Smartz” fun card. The credit card is used by the students for discounts on tickets to theme parks, concerts, food, yogurt etc.

    Money SmartzThe structure of the “Money Smartz” includes the following elements:
  • Spinner
    This is a game spinner board that the contestants spin to select their money question category. The game spinner features a musical theme to build excitement.
  • Costume Characters – “Money Movers”
    Change, characters resembling a penny, a nickel, a dime and a quarter and Billy, a character resembling a dollar bill will demonstrate the different kinds of money and their value.
  • Money Toss
    This display simulates a carnival game, but the lessons are specific. Students can throw money away, spend it wisely or save. This activity demonstrates that their actions are deliberate behaviors and they have choices they can make.
  • Bank (interior)
    A realistic set will display the features of a bank including the teller, vault etc. The students will role play as banking customers and banking personnel and act out bank transactions.

The game show workshops are produced for specific grade levels and the lesson plans are age appropriate. The schedule will feature three to four shows at each elementary school – depending on the school enrollment. The grade breakdown is as follows:

Show #1: K & 1
Show # 2: 2&3
Show # 3: 4 &5

The schools will be scheduled in order to provide a fair and equitable distribution of the program throughout Los Angeles County and in those communities specified by the sponsor.


Outline of Curriculum:

  1. History of money
    • Who was money named after
    • Who first used money
  2. Different kinds of money
    • Identification of the different kinds of money
    • Different values of money
  3. Who and how money is made
    • United States Mint
    • Bureau of Printing and Engraving
  4. Where is money kept
    • Federal Reserve
  5. How, why and where is money saved
    • What a bank is
    • What interest is
    • What a checking and savings account is
  6. How do people earn money?
  7. What do people spend money on?
    • What are the important things money can buy
    • What are the fun things that money can buy

Program scripts for designated grade levels are available upon request.


A final round of contestants is selected to play “Money Smartz”. The contestants will spin the spinner for the category of questions. The questions will be grade and age appropriate. If at the conclusion of this portion of the game the students have correctly answered the questions, the host announces that they have won the game and everyone will receive the Money Smartz Fun Card. The game is structured so that the students always win.

  • “Money Smartz” School Murals
    Schools will be given detailed information on how to produce a mural on school property. The classroom discussions will be held to decide on the money message. Schools will be assisted in securing art grants for the production and maintenance of the murals. When possible, Safe Moves will confirm the participation of the local high school art students and local art organizations such as the Social Public Resource Art Center to serve as art consultants.

    The school murals will serve as a constant reminder to students, parents, teachers, and school staff of the importance of understanding money and the need to make the smart “Money Smartz”.
  • Teachers Involvement
    Teachers will be provided with incentives for conducting “Money Minutes” which are daily lesson plans held in the classroom. Teachers will be provided age-appropriate/grade level specific lesson plans for step-by-step implementation for the “Money Minutes”. Incentives for teachers include concert tickets, movie tickets, discounts for merchandize, restaurants, etc.
  • Parent Workshops
    Safe Moves will conduct presentations at PTA meetings and other parent enrichment programs to discuss “Money Smartz”.
  • Community Events
    Safe Moves will participate in community events in Los Angeles County. Criteria for participation in the community events will be they must be family oriented with large number of participants expected.

    The exhibit at the community events will feature:
  • Spinner
    This is a game spinner board that the contestant spins to select their money question category. The game spinner features a musical theme to build excitement.
  • Costume Characters – “Money Movers”
    Change and Billy will meet and greet children and their families as well as be available for photographs and autographs.
  • Money Toss
    This display simulates a carnival game, but the lessons are specific -- students can throw money away, spend it wisely or save. This activity demonstrates that these actions are deliberate behaviors and students have choices they can make.
  • Literature for children and their parents
    A fun activity booklet will be distributed to children and their families outlining the basics to money and banking. The booklet will included guidelines for parents to continue the education at home, sample budget and tips on how a set up a budget, save and make better money choices.