You don’t need a fancy degree or loads of public speaking experience to help improve children’s financial literacy in your community. Those things certainly don’t hurt, but with or without them, but you can have an impact.
At TalkingInClass.org, we believe that any money-smart grown-up can make a difference by speaking to a classroom of kids and sharing what they know about money. It doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t have to be polished. You just need to want to make a difference.
But once you’ve decided that you want to talk in class, how do you get the ball rolling? To whom should you reach out?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that, but the great news is that you’ve got plenty of options — and if one method doesn’t work for you, try another. Be persistent. Keep trying. You’ll be glad you did, and so will the kids you speak with.
We’ve got sample templates and real-life examples to help you reach out to school officials in the TalkingInClass.org Starter Kit. It also has ideas for what to talk about and more for those who really want to talk but don’t know where to begin. Click on the link to download it.
Here are some more ways to find someone to contact about talking in class:
Contact your kids’ teacher or the principal, counselor or another official at your kid’s school
This is likely the best way to make connections at a school. If you have a child at a school, it should be easy to reach out to an official. All the information you need can probably be found in a school directory or website. Plus, if you’re a familiar face around the school, your offer to help is more likely to be embraced with open arms.
Reach out to friends, family or neighbors for connections
No kids in school? No problem. Chances are you’ve got a connection somewhere to a school-age kid. Don’t be shy about talking to those around for help. Once you share with them what you’re aiming to do — help kids become smarter about money — they’ll probably be happy to help.
Get in touch with your nearest school’s principal, counselor or another official
Even if you don’t know anyone with ties to a local school, it’s still OK to reach out. Make a phone call or send an email to tell them that you live nearby and explain what you’d like to do. (You could even mention TalkingInClass.org to help further illustrate your goals.)
Don’t come on too strong. Be sure to emphasize that you’re not selling anything; you’re simply trying to share your knowledge of money with kids and improve childhood financial literacy in your area. And don’t just expect to walk into the school and meet with someone. Schools take their security very seriously. Respect that; call or email first.
Consider reaching out to other groups and organizations
We’re called TalkingInClass.org, but schools are far from the only places where you can teach. Research other groups in your community — for example, local Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters and various religious or government center. These and many other groups would likely be eager to have well-informed professionals share their knowledge. Just search online for groups in your area to get started.
The bottom line
If there’s a will, there’s a way. Remember that teachers and other school officials are busy, busy folks, and your email or phone call might slip through the cracks. Be patient. Be respectful of their time, but be persistent. When you get to speak with those kids, share your information and answer all of their questions, you’ll be glad you did — and you can bet the teacher and the kids will be, too.
If you have further questions, fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to help.