Middle school students across North Dakota will learn skills crucial to financial literacy as they participate in sketch and improvisational comedy. North Dakota Securities Department proudly sponsors Mad About Money and joins together with The National Theatre for Children (NTC) to bring the show to schools at no cost. The tour begins October 6th and ends October 10th, stopping at schools in Sterling, Bismarck, Minot, Wilton and other cities.
During the forty-minute play performed by professional actors through a series of comedic sketches, students learn the difference between needs and wants, between saving and investing, between cash and credit and the importance of forming a savings habit. While the performance and educational content is completely scripted, the shows are built to incorporate certain moments of improvisation and lots of student participation. At the beginning of each scene, actors solicit information from the audience that is then humorously integrated into the show. “Many young people make financial mistakes that end up costing them a significant amount of money, time and worry,” says Karen Tyler, Commissioner of North Dakota Securities Department. “We want to equip these kids with the tools and the knowledge to make intelligent choices and to develop healthy saving and spending habits right from the start.”
Schools in Western and Eastern North Dakota have been able to participate in this program since 2005. “We have dedicated nearly a decade to this program in an effort to help prepare young people in our state to make wise money choices,” Tyler continues. “It’s been a huge success, and we are very excited to partner with NTC and provide the program to schools again this year.”
The concepts examined in Mad About Money are reinforced by student workbooks and teacher guides for educators to use in their lessons. Schools also gain access to digital learning materials to supplement their lessons with interactive classroom exercises, quizzes and games based around the program. “The free show and resources are one part of what participating schools receive,” says Tyler. “The goal is always to encourage students to find out more, to pursue deeper understanding, and to explore these ideas in order to see how they apply to everyday life.”