Student-run resource store opens in Pontiac school - teaching finance in real-time

Some young students are learning how to manage their money - a Pontiac school is opening up it's own store, run by kids.

When we talk financial literacy typically we’re referring to adults, but this store is teaching those concepts to children in real-time in Pontiac.

Herrington Elementary School the site of what’s called a resource store …kids are exposed to real life skills like balancing a budget and running a business. The students are the bosses - they’re running the store.

"It’s really important to manage your money to know how much you get and how much money you need," said Arrieal Abrams Gonzales, the store manager.

This is a different kind of store. All about teaching children how to earn, behave, succeed in school, and become financially literate.

"Students are walking around now they’re asking instead of about sports, they are asking about investing, they are talking about owning their own business. They are asking those questions. They are learning and learning in a fun manner. It is hands-on learning," said Richard Bell, Kids First Initiative.

Students will be allowed to purchase clothes, shoes, electronics, food do you name it … using what they’re calling Bear Bucks. How do kids earn their Bucks? Through good behavior, academics, attendance, and volunteering. They’re doing some thing that’s super important which is changing culture and expectations.

"We can drive the narrative here," Bell said. "There are three important shareholders in the educational process - we have the students, we have the staff and we have the parents. We are going to (implement) all three entities and now we can begin to change that culture."

The Kids First Initiative is behind this program. The store will be open once a month, until the end of school. This was made possible with a $100,000 grant.