When Girl Scouts go out and sell boxes of cookies, they’re not just making money — they’re also learning vital financial skills.
“Everything we do to advance financial literacy among our youth is a step in the right direction,” said Hope Garrett, leader of Danville Troop 2224.
“I firmly believe that the earlier we teach sound financial principles to our kids, the better educated and equipped they will be to handle the financial issues of their generation — whatever those happen to be.”
With that emphasis on financial literacy, the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois is excited to have received a $20,000 grant from State Farm to support a financial literacy program. The program teaches business and financial skills to girls in 38 counties across central Illinois.
“Financial Fitness for Girls” helps develop five key skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics, while supporting the educational journey of girls to become leaders in business and life.
Last year, Garrett coordinated a service area event during Money Smart Week from which Daisies and Brownies were able to earn their financial literacy badges. Garrett also is chairperson for Money Smart Week in Vermilion County.
Kristy Martin with Troop 2059, Georgetown, said the cookie campaign, which starts in January with a rally, helps girls develop financial literacy.
“They develop their decision-making skills, learn how to manage money, and develop people skills and business ethics,” she said. The girls set goals and learn how to spend the money wisely.
“There’s a whole curriculum about selling cookies. It’s not just, ‘I’m a Girl Scout, buy some cookies,’” Martin said.
Funding provided by State Farm will be allocated to help support two components of the Financial Fitness for Girls program:
- The cookie rallies
More than 2,600 girls in central Illinois participate in regional cookie rallies, which serve as an introduction to the Girl Scout Cookie Program — the largest all-girl financial literacy program in the country. The rallies allow girls to practice goal-setting, customer relations, marketing, and safe selling. Girls apply the skills and knowledge throughout the cookie program by working together to set financial goals and develop strategies to allocate their proceeds to fund community service projects.