Drama heralds financial literacy program for children

By Wang Wei
China.org.cn staff reporter

With a lively drama by the Cheeky Monkey Theater on May 8, 2009, Citi China announced the second phase of a financial education program for children aged between 8 and 12 years old in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

All the actors, actresses, and student representatives, along with Anand Selva (3rd R) pose for a photo after the play was successfully staged on May 8, 2009. Citi China was launching the second phase of a financial education program for children aged between 8 and 12 years old in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. [China.org.cn]

All the actors, actresses, and student representatives, along with Anand Selva (3rd R) pose for a photo after the play was successfully staged on May 8, 2009. Citi China was launching the second phase of a financial education program for children aged between 8 and 12 years old in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. [China.org.cn]

 

The program is centered on a comic book, entitled “Agent Penny and Will Power in Operation Finance” (“Agent Penny II”), following the launch in Shanghai in 2007of the first book, “The Adventures of Agent Penny, Featuring Will Power”, which was subsequently rolled out to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

As with the first phase of the program, a play based on stories in the comic book was staged at the Primary School Attached to Peking University. More than 500 students of Grade 4 as well as teachers attended the event and watched the play.

Scenes based on stories of daily life present students with commonly-used financial tools and concepts, such as budgeting and compound interest, as well as the formation of healthy financial habits. With amusing words and humorous performances, this 30-minute play did a good job of arousing students’ enthusiasm.

“Such activities are very interesting and useful,” said Wang Wenyi, a student at the scene. “My parents always give me some pocket money. After watching the play, I would like to save it for necessities rather than simply spending it at random.”

“Agent Penny and Will Power, seemingly full of magic, are just like our big sister and brother. We can turn to them for advice if we are caught in some money trouble,” He Mingyi and Zhang Yuyang were quite excited at the end of the drama.

According to Anand Selva, executive vice president of Citi China, this program is funded by the Citi Foundation with the support of the Learning Society, a public-service organization with the goals of promoting and supporting progressive educational programs for adults and children.

“Financial literacy is a necessary life-skill and a lifelong learning process, and should be imparted to children, especially in their formative years,” said Selva. “We are delighted to launch phase two of the program, which will contribute to the education of students regarding the financial decisions they must make as they go through life.”

Yin Chao, principal of the Primary School Attached to Peking University, also expressed her gratitude for the support of Citi Group. “Financial education is a distinctive course at our school. The first Agent Penny series was a successful initiative that imparted important financial knowledge in the interesting and easy-to-absorb context of a comic book and drama play. As for the second, new elements are incorporated, such as English vocabulary and teachers’ training activities. In directing students towards the appropriate financial values, it helps with the development of well-rounded young people.”

At the end of the launch ceremony, Selva, on behalf of Citi China, presented over 300 comic books to students at the Primary School Attached to Peking University.

According to schedules of the program, the Cheeky Monkey Theater, presenting itself as the world’s first Chinglish Theater Company, will visit between 40 and 50 schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen over the next ten months, and this play is expected to be seen by around 20,000 children.

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