Teacher's Creative Way Of Teaching Money Lessons - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Teacher's Creative Way Of Teaching Money Lessons

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HAVERFORD, Pa. -

If the kids in Kate Gerhart's second-grade class at Friend's School Haverford in Delaware county look particularly happy, that's because this is payday.

Students are rewarded for a week's worth of classroom chores -- things like sharpening pencils and erasing the white board, wiping down the lunch tables and sweeping the floor.

The lesson?

"Money doesn't grow on trees," Gerhart told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon. "You have to work to earn it, and everything costs money. Everything has value."

What has Alyssa Abell-Doh learned? "That you should save and no just spend on everything that you want."

...or everything you need.

Kids in this class pay rent for their chairs, cubbies and hooks -- about 10 to 15 percent of their paycheck. They even pay for the paper they use!

Just like in real life, "wants" compete with "needs." Seventy-five dollars gets you some time in the comfy chair to do your work.

And there are other luxuries.

"I spent it on a homework 'free pass,'" says Oliver Browning. You can occasionally buy your way out of homework? "Yes, for $75."

And if the kids can't balance their salary and expenses, well, call this the "School of Hard Knocks."

"It has happened that a child cannot pay rent," says Gerhart. The kids' reaction when they realize they don't have a chair to sit on? "A lot of crying!"

Lately, Gerhart has begun taxing her students for things like using the pencil sharpeners and paper, with little explanation as to why. You guessed it, they're starting to learn about the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

"It's not fair that we didn't get a say in her taxing us," says Wyatt Strawbridge.

Lindsay McVail is just as outraged. "She just did it! It was like taxation without representation!"

By year's end, these kids will either have learned the art of money management, or they'll have kicked Ms. Gerhart out of class -- and started their own country!

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