My name is Bill Luzzo and I will be a senior at Loras College this fall. I am a finance major with a minor in Economics and Financial Planning/Wealth Management. I am on the baseball team, in the marketing club, and in charge of on campus engagement for our Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter.
It was through my membership in the FPA that I became aware of the Sammy Rabbit Dream Big Read financial education project. Loras College recently added a CFP Board-Registered Financial Planning Program and a FPA student club chapter. We wanted to reach out into our community and do some projects. Luckily, our professor, Brian Kallback had a connection to Sammy Rabbit as well as within the local elementary and secondary education communities. He shared the project with our class. My classmate, Anthony Berardi and I partnered up. We decided it would be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity. So, we reached out to Sammy Rabbit’s creator, Mr. Renick, to learn more.
Preparation was relatively easy.
We had an introductory phone meeting with Sammy (Mr. Renick). We shared information about ourselves and learned about him and the mission. After our conversation, Anthony and I felt we had made the right decision in reaching out.
We then had a few follow up phone calls to review goals, get clear on what we wanted to accomplish, and agree on a plan to achieve our goals.
Our next step was to reach out to a fourth grade teacher at a local elementary school in Dubuque. Professor Kallback’s daughter was in that class. We coordinated with the instructor and set a date to visit the classroom. A week before our classroom visit, we received 3 sets of Sammy Rabbit books in the mail: one set of two books for Anthony, one for me, and one to be left with the classroom. The books were similar, but had some differences. The difference was one book included the potential for students to color pictures and sayings at the bottom of story pages.
Presentation and Experience
When it came time to present to the students, our plan was to read the book to students, ask questions throughout the reading, and finish with a word search activity.
During class, Anthony and I alternated reading chapters of the book. In between each page, we asked students for specific situations in which they could relate to Sammy Rabbit and other ways that they try to save money. We had a fun time interacting with the students as they had some interesting answers to our questions. They did a great job paying attention and responding to our questions throughout the whole reading.
It seemed like the teacher enjoyed the experience as well. She said the students enjoyed having visitors and interacting with new people.
Walking out of the classroom, Anthony and I felt pretty good spreading Sammy’s mission of educating kids on how to save money. Professor Kallback seemed to be happy, as we were rewarded with Shamrock Shakes on the way back to campus.
I learned there are multiple ways to reach out to your community. I would definitely do it again and recommend that others join and spread Sammy’s mission.
Additional Thoughts and References
Related Reading. Teen and College Blogs and Projects
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