As part of financial literacy month, the Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise
and Economic Education (Stavros Center) at the USF College of Education and Raymond James have partnered to encourage students in Tampa Bay to learn about managing money by
playing the financial literacy game, Give-Get. Teachers from local area schools attended workshops at the Stavros Center in preparation
for bringing the Give-Get challenge to their classrooms.
In April, approximately 1,000 students from fourth to twelfth grade played the game, competing against fellow students and classes.
"The response to the Give-Get game has been overwhelming. We had over 7,000 games played through this challenge in the month of April," said Peter Trakas, director of the Stavros Center. “Gaming is an innovative way to encourage learning. The Stavros Center strives to empower teachers with tools like Give-Get that engage students and teach financial literacy.”
Give-Get game story
The inspiration for the development of Give-Get came from a teacher and an experienced financial planners, Jill and Kevin Ruth, who saw a need for kids to practice making decisions about finances at an earlier age. They quickly learned the key to the engagement with the game was that kids love to compete and hate to lose. “Make it fun. Make it competitive. Make it a game,” said Jill Ruth.
At a workshop in the Stavros Center, teachers were provided curriculum aids on common financial literacy concepts such as budgeting, saving, investing, speculating and borrowing. Then, teachers were provided with an account to have their students’ participate in the Give-Get challenge.
Teachers returned to their classrooms and encouraged their students to watch the five “Money Musts” videos to learn how to grow their net worth from the starting point of $20. The students gave money to get money to grow their net worth and move around the board. Players practicing good money behaviors such as saving and avoiding speculation led to building a net worth of $100 which wins the game.
Students played the game against other students and the artificial intelligence (AI)
bot in the classroom as well as against their siblings and parents at home. The top
student in each class received a financial literacy book. The Give-Get leader boards
for each school determined the winners of the game. Raymond James provided prizes
for classroom winners and financial support to participating teachers to attend the
workshops at the Stavros Center.
“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is an integral part of our culture at Raymond James,” said Andrea Masterson, vice president of corporate responsibility. “Programs and organizations that drive the importance of financial literacy among students align seamlessly with our mission and vision as a financial services firm committed to making a difference.”
In high school, students earn money and it is an important time to learn how to spend
their income wisely on Give-Get. "It provides an introduction to money management.
My students have part-time jobs and are starting to learn to budget. Give-Get allows
them to practice responsible money practices to apply to their finances," said Angelique
Diaz, Strawberry Crest High School teacher.
Give-Get is popular with elementary students too. “Give-Get is the most engaging game my students have ever played! It is invaluable because it provides a fun, risk-free and highly interactive way to learn financial literacy skills. It helps build a solid foundation for future financial security in our youth,“ said Lisa Lawson, Claywell Elementary School teacher.
Jaxson Comito, an elementary student, is a stand-out in the Give-Get challenge sponsored by Raymond James. He has won 148 games and lost 27 games while competing with middle and high school students. He is ranked 14th overall out of the 1,000 participants (estimated).
Due to the success of this program, the Stavros Center looks forward to hosting future
“For over forty years the Stavros Center at the USF College of Education has been providing teachers with innovative teaching approaches to share financial literacy with students. We are grateful for the support of the Give-Get challenge by Raymond James, game developers Jill and Kevin Ruth and students and teachers from our partner school districts,” said Trakas.