Community Matters - Know Your Dough

April 4, 2023

When did you first begin learning financial literacy? For many students in Durango and surrounding areas, they’ll be able to say they started learning in elementary school, thanks to Know Your Dough. Founded in 2013, Know Your Dough has age-appropriate courses and lessons for children and young adults to better prepare them for the future - from learning about positive saving and spending habits to what to look for when it comes to student loans and mortgages. By Hannah Robertson. This story is brought you by Alpine Bank.

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Hi, I'm Eric Eicher, president and employee owner of Alpine Bank Durango. Alpine Bank is only as strong as its community, and giving back to the community is one of our core values. I'm proud to present Alpine Bank's Community Matters program highlighting local nonprofit organizations.

What does it mean to be financially literate at age six? How about at age 13, 17, or 21? Although it may sound daunting to talk about wants versus needs to a classroom of second graders, students in Know Your Dough are prepared with the language and knowledge to handle their future financial selves with confidence.

So Know Your Dough is a nonprofit organization that is here in Durango. We're not a national organization, we're local. And we provide financial literacy education for youth and young adults in Southwest Colorado. If you ask any adult and you ask them what they wish they had learned in school, most people are going to say, "Money." And that's kind of what we are trying to provide. We're trying to give these kids a real basis for financial literacy, just basic economics, basic personal finance, and then we allow that to grow throughout the years. We offer programs from elementary school all the way through young adults.

Know Your Dough started in 2013, provides week-long financial literacy programs designed for early and late elementary students, middle school students, and high school and college students. For the younger students, one of the best ways to deliver information about healthy financial living is through games, like the Money Game played in the seventh grade program.

A lot of kids learn in different ways, so it's not necessarily PowerPoint presentations. A lot of it is interactive. So we do a game. And through that game, they learn about assets and liabilities, they learn about all the different types of taxes that we have, what the difference between an earned income is and passive income. And so there's certain parts of the game that they get up and they walk around and they get to interact with each other.

At the elementary level, students learn the difference between needs and wants and basic budgeting, and offer games to help students practice what it means to save money, spend money, and earn money. At the high school and college level, much of the talk revolves around topics like how to get and maintain good credit scores, what to look for in loans, and how to create a saving plan and budget.

A lot of our students work long hours and so they make some significant assets. They have checking and savings accounts and so. Some of her financial literacy programming was around: How do you keep a really detailed budget? How do you not get caught between a debit and a credit charge? A debit charge will show up right away, whereas a credit charge will show up later on your bank account, how that can create some havoc in your budgeting process. Things like, how do you protect your identity? How do you really plan ahead for your expenses?

Know Your Dough programs are week-long programs run by volunteers who spend a week or so with students in schools and programs in and around Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, and more to give every student a leg up when it comes to financial literacy, no matter their background or family's financial status.

Financial literacy is so important, and it's so important to teach our kids. As I said before, the one thing that most people wish that they had learned in school is money. And let us help you get that financial literacy education to your kids.

If you can have an impact on a child's life by teaching them anything about money, it's a win-win. And that's what I would like people to know is that even as individuals, they can have an impact on any child or young adult in just their wisdom and their experience.

Know Your Dough is always on the lookout for volunteers. Even if you've never worked in a classroom before, Know Your Dough will provide all the materials and training for each program. Financial donations are always welcome as well to continue to fund the programs for years to come. Find out more about the different programs, contact Know Your Dough to present to your organization, and learn about upcoming events on their website. Thank you for watching this edition of Community Matters. I'm Connor Shreve.


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