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Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine and Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield Share Importance of Financial Literacy with Preschoolers

First Lady DeWine and Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield pose with children after the book reading at the YMCA Early Learning Center West.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine and Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield emphasized the importance of early financial literacy today with preschoolers at the YMCA Early Learning Center West in Columbus.

Mrs. DeWine read the book “Spend It!” by Cinders McLeod, an Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library book that was mailed out in January to 4-year-olds enrolled in the program. The book shares simple money concepts through the story about a bunny who cannot buy everything he wants with his allowance. Afterwards, Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield facilitated a short activity with the preschoolers involving “bunny money,” which was exchanged for coloring pages and crayons.     

"A child who has a strong early literacy foundation will be better prepared to enter kindergarten and take on new subjects, including math and science," said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. "I'm proud to partner with the Ohio Department of Commerce to promote Money Smart Week® to some of our youngest Ohioans, because it's never too early to teach kids about the importance of smart spending." 

Mrs. DeWine travels the state to read to young children, highlight the importance of early childhood literacy, and promote the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.  Children enrolled in the program receive one age-appropriate book each month. All Ohio kids, from birth until their fifth birthday, are eligible for the program at no cost to their families.  Currently, 316,435 Ohio children receive an Imagination Library book every month.

Money Smart Week® (April 9 – 16) is in the month of April, which is National Financial Literacy Month. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week®, is a week of free, educational events designed to help kids, teens, and adults better manage their money. Adults play a critical role in helping to teach children about budgeting and saving, which are essential to strong money management skills.

“We want to support families and educators by offering resources and tools that will allow them to learn about personal financial development, and then be able to teach our youth,” said Ohio Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield. “That’s why initiatives like Money Smart Week® are so important. We also want Ohioans to know that Commerce provides a variety of easy-to-access resources on topics from budgeting to investing.”

For more information about Ohio Department of Commerce financial resources, visit www.Com.Ohio.gov.

For more information about Money Smart Week®, visit www.MoneySmartWeek.org.

For more information or to sign up your child for the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, visit www.OhioImaginationLibrary.org.