Va. Girl Scouts commit to financial literacy education

1/9/2014, 4:40 p.m.
Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia (GSCV) recently announced a partnership with Virginia Credit Union (VACU) for Financial Literacy ...

Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia (GSCV) recently announced a partnership with Virginia Credit Union (VACU) for Financial Literacy Week, Jan. 19-25.

Financial literacy is a key component of the Girl Scout Product Sale Program, which includes the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Girl Scout Fall Product Program, which involves girls selling nuts and magazines provided through licensed vendors. These programs provide important ingredients for leadership development by helping girls cultivate five key skills: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics. The Girl Scout Product Sales Programs are part of the National Program portfolio which is designed to help girls develop as leaders and build confidence by learning new skills.

Financial Literacy Week falls right at the start of the 2014 Cookie Sale. Girls of all age levels will have the opportunity to work with VACU professionals in nine age-specific programs. Girls will earn badges that focus on the five key financial literacy skills. For example, on January 21, 2014, VACU will host a capacity crowd of 60 GSCV Brownies (grades 2-3) at their North Chesterfield location for the girls to earn their Philanthropist and Meet My Customer badges. When Girl Scouts earn their Philanthropist badge, they will know how to help people in need. Once the Meet My Customer badge is complete, Girl Scouts will know how to find customers and get comfortable selling to them.

“VACU’s purpose is to help members and the community be more successful, and we believe financial education has a major part to play,” said Cherry Hedges, Director of Financial Education, VACU. “We are excited about this partnership with the Girl Scouts because it will help hundreds of girls gain necessary skills to help them prepare them for life.”

While the lack of financial literacy is a growing concern for everyone today, relatively little research has been done on how young people think about and experience money and finances, with even fewer studies focusing on girls specifically. To address this gap, the Girl Scout Research Institute conducted a nationwide survey with over 1,000 girls ages 8-17 and their parents to better understand girls' level of financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards, and experiences with money. Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy reveals that girls need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams, with 90 percent saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. However, just 12 percent of girls surveyed feel "very confident" making financial decisions.

The conclusion of Financial Literacy Week wraps up with a giant kick-off celebration to the Cookie Sale. January 25, 2014 marks the date for Girl Scout Cookie Craze, the annual kick-off event for the world’s largest girl-led business – Girl Scout Cookies! At the event, Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to participate in Cookie Academy, a high energy, immersive learning session focused on building skills around goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—aspects essential to leadership, to success, and to life. Credit Union professionals from VACU and across the Commonwealth are being recruited to volunteer with this exciting event.

“Through Girl Scouting, girls are transformed into leaders for today’s as well as tomorrow’s challenges,” said Viola O. Baskerville, CEO, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Girls today know how important it is to be financially literate in their daily lives. Teaching them the five skills of financial literacy gives them the confidence they need in themselves to accomplish their goals and fulfill their dreams.”