DECA project aims to teach young students value of money
Posted: December 8, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — On Friday, two James Wood High School juniors taught a group of seventh-grade students the importance of the adage that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Danyelle Dunlap and Lyndsey Bowers took their DECA project to Frederick County Middle School to advise students about saving their money, rather than spending it on things they don’t really need — such as Air Jordan sneakers or Hollister T-shirts.
“That money is not going to be with you forever,” said Lyndsey. “It’s going to fly right through your hands.”
The teens began their presentation by asking the younger students if they knew how much the average American spends each year.
One middle-schooler shouted $2,000, while another guessed $2 million.
Both were way off the mark: the answer is $19,160.
Logan Harper raised his hand and wanted to know how to save money if you don’t have any.
Danyelle and Lyndsey encouraged him and other students to make money through chores and activities such as operating a lemonade stand.
They also advised students to keep track of their savings, establish a savings account with the help of their parents and try living on a budget.
“When I was your age, I had no idea how much I would spend,” Danyelle told them.
One student wanted to know when he could get a credit card. Lyndsey suggested that he wait until he was older and had a full-time job.
She then told the students that if they saved $3 a day, by the end of the year they could have about $1,100.
Seventh-grader Cera Graves, provident by nature, understands the importance of saving money to pay for taxes, foods and needs.
“Wants aren’t important,” she said. “If I save up, the more money I have, and then I can pay for my education and can retire faster.”
Luke Ross came away from the presentation a bit more money-conscious than before.
“Don’t waste your money,” he said. “Always keep it and save it up, and it will work out for you over the years.”
Danyelle and Lyndsey are among the 60 to 70 students at James Wood involved with DECA — a program that promotes leadership, research, advertising and marketing skills.
They will take their financial-literacy project to a state-level competition in Norfolk. If they place well, they will travel to Los Angeles for the national competition in early May.
The teens were told to choose among 17 projects. They selected financial literacy so they could give middle-schoolers the education they never had.
“When we were in middle school, we had nothing [about financial literacy],” Lyndsey said. “Nobody told us how to save money.”
— Contact Rebecca Layne firstname.lastname@example.org